Vequist (Nyquist) was ultra-impressive when earning her diploma in the GI Spinaway S. Sept. 6 and looks to replicate that performance at Belmont Saturday in the GI Frizette S., which grants the winner a spot in the gate for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Missing by just a nose in her 4 1/2-panel unveiling at Parx July 29, the dark bay graduated in style with a dominant 9 1/2-length success in Saratoga's Spinaway.
“She has to confirm it; anybody can do it once,” Butch Reid said. “You have to do it a couple of times to really prove you belong at that level. But she jumped from 4 1/2 furlongs to seven-eighths and against Grade I company, so it was impressive, and I really liked the way she handled herself. We got up to Saratoga a couple of days ahead of time and she acted really great in the paddock. The way she acted was what impressed me more than anything else. She handled it like a seasoned, old racehorse.”
Steve Asmussen saddles a filly who also broke her maiden impressively in 'TDN Rising Star' Cantata (Medaglia d'Oro). The $950,000 KEESEP purchase stormed home to a dazzling 10 1/4-length victory in her career bow at Saratoga Aug. 16.
“She's come in and done everything correctly,” said Asmussen assistant Toby Sheets. “She's quite the individual. We're looking forward to seeing her step up her game a little bit. She's a racehorse. She does her job and has it down.”
The Hall of Fame conditioner also saddles Joy's Rocket (Anthony's Cross) opened her account with a win in the slop at Churchill June 28 and followed suit with a front-running score on synthetic in Woodbine's My Dear S. Aug. 1. The bay led the way in Saratoga's grassy Bolton Landing S. 18 days later, but was overtaken late and forced to settle for second to 'TDN Rising Star' Toby's Heart (Jack Milton).
“She's also a filly that hasn't done anything wrong. She tries every time,” Sheets said. “I think she deserves a chance.”
Undefeated Dayoutoftheoffice (Into Mischief) looks to take her career to the next level here. A decisive debut winner at Gulfstream May 14, the dark bay romped by six lengths in Saratoga's GIII Schuylerville S. July 16.
Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez have teamed up to win three renewals of this event and this year they join forces on Fifth Risk (Outwork). The Paul Pompa colorbearer donned cap and gown at first asking going six panels at the Spa Aug. 23.
Rounding out the field are maiden Get On the Bus (Uncle Mo), who was second in the Aug. 7 GII Sorrento S. and fourth in the GI Del Mar Debutante S. Sept. 6; and Cilla (California Chrome), who broke her maiden at second asking at Delaware Aug. 13 and was ninth in the grassy Sorority S. Sept. 7.