Friday Winners in Good Order

Essential Quality | Horsephotos

The winners of Friday's juvenile races at the Breeders' Cup were reported in good order Saturday morning. Trainer Brad Cox celebrated two winners on the championship card when Aunt Pearl (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) captured the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf S. and Godolphin homebred Essential Quality (Tapit) won the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

“It was a fantastic day,” Cox said. “Both came out of their races really well. So far so good. Both are a little tired, but they have a right to be. They both appear to have bounced out of the races very well. We'll see how things go moving forward. We don't have anything picked out as far as races, but we're looking forward to coming up with a game plan for next year.”

Aunt Pearl, purchased for 280,000gns at last year's Tattersalls October sale, won the GII JPMorgan Chase Jessamine S. and is now unbeaten in three starts. Essential Quality, also three for three, added his Breeders' Cup win to a victory in the GI Claiborne Breeders Futurity.

“These are both horses that have shown us a lot since we picked them up in the spring,” Cox said. “It's a long process getting to a point like this and it's just a testament to the help, the assistants, the foremen, the exercise riders, the hotwalkers, the grooms, everyone we have in place. I'm just really proud of our staff and really appreciative of the opportunities owners have given us with really nice horses. Aunt Pearl was an expensive purchase out of Tattersalls last year and fortunate to have been given her. Obviously, Godolphin has a very well-bred homebred. Sometimes that's what it takes to get to a stage like this. It's very rewarding and we're very fortunate.”

Trainer Butch Reid was also pleased with GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Vequist (Nyquist).

“When I saw her in the morning jogging and stuff, I thought she looked really good but then when she got over there into the paddock in the afternoon, I thought she looked spectacular,” said Reid. “In my mind, I thought she won the paddock show. She looked good, calm, relaxed. We felt pretty good.”

Reid added that Vequist, campaigned by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Swilcan Stable, will now head to Barry Eisaman's farm in Florida for a freshening to prepare for a sophomore campaign he hopes will include the 2021 GI Kentucky Oaks.

“Four starts as a 2-year-old is plenty for me and we got her stretched around two turns, which is what I wanted,” Reid said. “She'll soak up some sun and pick on some grass.”

Ranlo Investment's Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) will also be getting a break following his win in Friday's GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

“He's doing great this morning,” trainer Wesley Ward said. “He's a champion. He's going to hang out here at Keeneland and let down until about Christmas. Usually Keeneland has a turf sprint for 3-year-olds on opening day that we'll point for and then point to the G1 King's Stand at Royal Ascot with him.”

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