Paul Reddam's Slow Down Andy (Nyquist) assumed command of Saturday's GI Awesome Again S. from the opening bell and made every pole a winning one, earning a fees-paid berth into the GI Breeders' Cup Classic over an extra eighth of a mile of the Santa Anita main track on Nov. 4.
“I was kind of surprised, I thought everyone would try to go,” Reddam said. “The track has been pretty speed favoring all day and he just broke so smoothly that he was on top in three jumps and that worked out. We are in for the Breeders' Cup Classic.”
Favored at 2-1 to snap a five-race skid dating back to a victory in the GII Del Mar Derby on the turf last September, the homebred–third to Defunded (Dialed In) in this event before filling the same spot in the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile–bounced beautifully from gate three and set a lively pace over the rain-affected main track. The Bob Baffert duo of Defunded and GI Preakness S. hero National Treasure (Quality Road) tried to make a race of it as they swung into the stretch, but Slow Down Andy had something left and proved an easy winner by 2 1/2 lengths.
Defunded lasted for second ahead of Senor Buscador (Mineshaft), who attacked the wire for third.
Slow Down Andy, winner of the 2021 GII Los Alamitos Futurity and 2022 GIII Sunland Park Derby, made three previous starts this season, including a second-place finish in the GII San Diego H. July 29 and a third-place finish in the GI FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic S. last time Sept. 2.
Trainer Doug O'Neill was winning the race for the first time since the legendary Lava Man (Slew City Slew) took it when contested as the Goodwood H. in 2006. Baffert had trained the last three winners of the Awesome Again and eight overall.
“First of all, he is a super easy horse to train and I have to thank the people at OBR,” O'Neill said.
“Zillah does a lot of work along with Ocean Breeze, Carlos and Casey they do such a wonderful job. If they are all like him, it is about as easy as a job as you can get. He just goes out there and gives 100 percent every morning exercising. Tony Romero gets on him, he used to get on the great Lava Man and he says this horse is very special. Just to get a Grade I for Paul, Zillah, and for Andy and OBR it is really special.”
Slow Down Andy becomes the fourth winner at the top level for Nyquist, who was also campaigned by these same connections to memorable wins in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile and GI Kentucky Derby. Slow Down Andy is the lone graded winner produced by broodmare sire Square Eddie.
Saturday, Santa Anita
AWESOME AGAIN S.-GI, $302,000, Santa Anita, 9-30, 3yo/up, 1 1/8m, 1:47.62, wf.
1–SLOW DOWN ANDY, 122, c, 4, by Nyquist
1st Dam: Edwina E, by Square Eddie
2nd Dam: Electric Daze, by Gilded Time
3rd Dam: Electric Fable, by Quiet American
1ST GRADE I WIN. O/B-Reddam Racing, LLC (CA); T-Doug F.
O'Neill; J-Mario Gutierrez. $180,000. Lifetime Record:
14-5-4-3, $1,276,600. *Full to Team Merchants, MSW,
$250,490. Werk Nick Rating: A++.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Defunded, 126, g, 5, Dialed In–Wind Caper, by Touch Gold.
($210,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Michael E. Pegram, Karl Watson
and Paul Weitman; B-Athens Woods LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert.
3–Senor Buscador, 124, h, 5, Mineshaft–Rose's Desert, by
Desert God. 1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. O-Joe R. Peacock, Jr.; B-Joe R
Peacock Sr. & Joe R Peacock Jr. (KY); T-Todd W. Fincher.
Margins: 2 1/4, 1, 1HF. Odds: 2.00, 3.90, 8.40.
Also Ran: National Treasure, Skinner, Bye Bye Bobby, Celestial Moon, Piroli, Stilleto Boy.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.
SLOW DOWN ANDY is going to the @BreedersCup Classic! @_MGutierrez_ sent him gate to wire for the victory in the (GI) 🏆 Awesome Again at @SantaAnitaPark. The son of Nyquist is trained by @DougONeill1 and owned by Reddam Racing. Congratulations to all the connections! pic.twitter.com/ZnwFxMmLop
— TVG (@TVG) October 1, 2023