Nest tuned up for her engagement in the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff at Keeneland next month with an effortless victory in the GII Beldame S. at Aqueduct Sunday. Making her first start against her elders, the 1-9 favorite broke well from her inside post and was on the lead in the early strides before allowing Travel Column (Frosted) to take over heading into the first turn. Nest settled into third as Travel Column set the tempo with First to Act tracking in second as the quarter went up in :24.52 and the three fillies lined up across the track after a half in :49.01. Three wide on the far turn, Nest floated wider into the lane, but once straightened she produced an emphatic burst of speed to power clear to an 9 3/4-length victory.
“I was a passenger,” said winning rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. “She's doing so good right now. I broke good. Before, she used to break a step slow. Now, the last couple of times she's been breaking good out of there and that's a big advantage because I don't have to use that much. She put herself in the race and I just waited for my time to go. In the turn, I stayed away from the other horses because I was already going by them a little early, but I don't get in her way. I stayed away a little bit just to keep her there and let her do her thing.”
Winner of the GI Ashland S. in April, Nest was second in the GI Kentucky Oaks and against the boys in the GI Belmont S. She staked her claim to the top of the 3-year-old fillies division this summer at Saratoga with wins in the July 23 GI Coaching Club American Oaks and Aug. 20 GI Alabama S.
“She's going to race at four,” said co-owner Mike Repole. “She's so special. She's by Curlin and she's getting better. Those were three 'wow' performances we just saw out of her and she's improving every start. It's great for racing. She's a special filly.”
Repole will hold a strong hand at the Breeders' Cup, with Nest joined by GI Frizette S. winner Chocolate Gelato (Practical Joke) and GI Hopeful S. and GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity winner Forte (Violence).
“Nest will probably be a top two or three favorite [in the Distaff],” he said. “Chocolate Gelato will be first or second choice [in the Juvenile Fillies], Forte will probably be first or second choice [in the Juvenile]. It's been an incredible blessing this year. Seven Grade Is and horses like this have made this year incredible.”
Marion Ravenwood, the dam of last year's GI Santa Anita H. winner Idol (Curlin), has also been represented this year by Sapling S. winner Lost Ark (Violence). The 14-year-old mare, a half-sister to graded placed Abstraction, was barren in 2021 and 2022 and was bred to Curlin this spring. She was purchased by co-breeder Ashview Farm for $400,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale.
Sunday, Belmont The Big A
BELDAME S.-GII, $242,500, Belmont The Big A, 10-9, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8m, 1:52.38, ft.
1–NEST, 120, f, 3, by Curlin
1st Dam: Marion Ravenwood (SW, $112,598), by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: Andujar, by Quiet American
3rd Dam: Nureyev's Best, by Nureyev
($350,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-Repole Stable, Eclipse
Thoroughbred Partners & Michael House; B-Ashview Farm &
Colts Neck Stables (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr.
$137,500. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 10-7-2-1, $1,873,050.
*1/2 to Dr Jack (Pioneerof the Nile), MSP, $156,155;
Lost Ark (Violence), SW, $177,000; Full to Idol, GISW,
$426,964. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the
free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–First to Act, 123, f, 4, Curlin–First Passage, by
Giant's Causeway. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O-Andrew
Rosen; B-AR Enterprises, LLC (KY); T-Claude R. McGaughey III.
3–Hybrid Eclipse, 123, f, 4, Paynter–Super Plan, by Valid Wager.
1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($37,000 2yo '20 EASMAY;
$107,000 4yo '22 FTKHRA). O-The Elkstone Group, LLC
(Stuart Grant); B-Alex Venneri Racing, LLC (KY); T-Brittany T.
Margins: 9 3/4, 5HF, 4 1/4. Odds: 0.05, 9.50, 48.25.
Also Ran: Travel Column, The Grass Is Blue.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.