Juddmonte's Distaff Win by Idiomatic Helps Curlin Equal his Own Breeders' Cup Record

Idiomatic shakes free in the Distaff | Horsephotos

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In 2022, Hill 'n' Dale's super sire Curlin got a record-setting three winners on Saturday's Breeders' Cup card. In 2023, the remarkable sire equaled that as Juddmonte homebred Idiomatic (Curlin–Lockdown, by First Defence) gave her sire a hard-fought victory in the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff sandwiched between the encore wins by Cody's Wish in the GI Dirt Mile earlier on the card and Elite Power later in the GI Sprint. Idiomatic, who has had a stellar year with eight wins from nine starts, has almost certainly sewn up the Eclipse Award as older female and put herself squarely in the middle of Horse of the Year consideration as well with the win.

“I think she definitely deserves some votes for Horse of the Year,” said trainer Brad Cox. “It's a serious record. It's Horse of the Year, not horse of the fall, horse of the summer, horse of the spring, or horse of the Breeders' Cup. She has had a tremendous year from start to finish. Today was just icing on the cake.”

Idiomatic kicked off 2023 with two optional allowance wins at Turfway Park, followed by her first black-type win in the listed Latonia S. in March. While it's safe to say Idiomatic is the first Breeders' Cup winner to come out of that race, it would catapult Idiomatic to graded company. After a runner-up finish, her only 2023 loss, in the GII Ruffian S., Cox teamed her up with Florent Geroux. The two have never lost in their five consecutive pairings, all graded stakes, and have hit triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures every time. Those five straight included both the GI Spinster S., sponsored by her owner and breeder, and GI Personal Ensign S. in her last two starts.

Geroux reflected on the year immediately following the Distaff: “Her prior victories have been very easy for her, but this one she had to earn it. She showed how great she was, and she deserved to be the champion just because of how much fight she showed today and how much heart.

“Sometimes that's what makes the difference between good horses and great horses, and I think she's one of the greats for sure.”

Idiomatic | Benoit

In Saturday's older-mare showcase, GI Alabama S. winner Randomized (Nyquist) shot to the Distaff lead when the gates flew as Idiomatic, under a hard hold, tracked her in second behind :22.31 and :46.26 fractions. Idiomatic began moving on Randomized with three furlongs to go as MGISW Clairiere–another daughter of Curlin–found a dream seam from the back of the field and threatened menacingly from the inside. Idiomatic and Randomized hooked up on the turn to fight down the lane–yet another great battle in a race which has seen some of the sport's top skirmishes. Idiomatic wore down Randomized to shake loose, but not by much, as a mad scramble ensued behind her and the wire loomed. In the end, Idiomatic, a super-sized filly, prevailed by a half-length over Randomized as Spinster second Le Da Vida (Chi) (Gemologist) outfinished Clairiere for third.

“When I needed her the most, the last eighth of a mile when I really went after her and gave her the indication of going forward,” said Geroux, “she just put her head down and start digging for me really hard. She was all heart in that victory.”

Cox and Geroux had previously partnered for Distaff wins in 2018 and 2020 with Monomoy Girl (Tapizar). It was Juddmonte's first win in the Distaff, although the organization has had a number of other top fillies and mares on the grass in the Breeders' Cup, including 2018 Turf winner Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) and 2001 and 2005 Filly and Mare Turf-winning full-sisters Banks Hill (GB) (Danehill) and Intercontinental (GB) (Danehill). Like Idiomatic, they were all homebreds sporting the famed green and pink silks.

After the Distaff, Juddmonte's Garrett O'Rourke added: “[Idiomatic] comes from a pedigree that is Juddmonte through and through. And her dam is Juddmonte, granddam is Juddmonte, her maternal grandsire is Juddmonte. That's tremendously satisfying for an owner/breeder operation like Prince Khalid and his sons.”

On Saturday, Juddmonte also won the aforementioned Sprint with Elite Power, although he was a $900,000 Keeneland September purchase rather than a homebred.

Pedigree Notes:

Juddmonte is recognized across the sport for one of the most extraordinary breeding programs in modern times; in few horses is that more evident than with Idiomatic. A fourth-generation Juddmonte-bred, Idiomatic hails from the direct female line of Broodmare of the Year Best in Show (Traffic Judge), her fifth dam, whose daughters and descendants have produced elite horses for five decades. Among that number was 'TDN Rising Star' and champion Close Hatches, a full-sister to Idiomatic's stakes-winning and multiple Grade I-placed dam, Lockdown. Close Hatches produced 2019 GII Wood Memorial S. winner Tacitus (Tapit), who also placed in both the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Belmont S.

Idiomatic | Benoit

Juddmonte homebred and broodmare sire First Defence, sire of Close Hatches and Lockdown, hails from Juddmonte Broodmare of the Year Toussaud (El Gran Senor) and is out of that legendary mare's GISW daughter Honest Lady (Seattle Slew). Honest Lady finished second against the boys in the 2000 GI Breeders' Cup Sprint and the 2000 GI Met Mile. First Defence has 14 stakes winners out of his daughters and currently stands in Saudi Arabia, while Lockdown died in 2022 after producing just three foals. Idiomatic is the only one to race to date; her final foal is a yearling filly by Into Mischief named Chasten.

The accolades also continue for Idiomatic's sire Curlin, who notched his sixth individual Breeders' Cup winner Saturday with the Distaff winner. Idiomatic's Breeders' Cup win, combined with Curlin's other Saturday repeat victories, made eight winning World Championship races as a sire for the chestnut. It was also his second consecutive year with the Distaff crown, as he also had 2022 winner Malathaat. The tremendous Curlin has 21 Grade I winners to his credit, as well as 55 graded winners and 98 black-type winners worldwide.

Saturday, Santa Anita Park
LONGINES BREEDERS' CUP DISTAFF-GI, $1,820,000, Santa Anita, 11-4, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8m, 1:50.57, ft.
1–IDIOMATIC, 124, f, 4, by Curlin
        1st Dam: Lockdown (SW & MGISP, $445,900), by First Defence
        2nd Dam: Rising Tornado, by Storm Cat
        3rd Dam: Silver Star (GB), by Zafonic
O/B-Juddmonte Farms Inc. (KY); T-Brad H. Cox; J-Florent Geroux. $1,040,000. Lifetime Record: 12-9-1-2, $2,456,840.
Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Randomized, 121, f, 3, by Nyquist
        1st Dam: French Passport, by Elusive Quality
        2nd Dam: Air France, by French Deputy
        3rd Dam: Twin Propeller, by Known Fact
($420,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc.; B-Cove Springs, LLC (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $340,000.
3–Le Da Vida (Chi), 124, m, 6, by Gemologist
        1st Dam: Viene Cantando (Chi) (MG1SW-Chi, $119,875), by Gstaad
        2nd Dam: Cantan Las Flores (Chi), by Dynamix
        3rd Dam: Lanza Flores (Chi), by Gallantsky
O-Masaiva Inc.; B-Haras Santa Olga (Chi); T-Ignacio Correas, IV. $180,000.
Margins: HF, NO, NK. Odds: 1.80, 7.90, 16.60.
Also Ran: Clairiere, Desert Dawn, Search Results, Adare Manor, Wet Paint, Hoosier Philly. Scratched: A Mo Reay, Pretty Mischievous. Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by Fanduel TV.

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