No Distaff But Xigera Still A Winner In Mother Goose

Xigera | Coglianese

In just her second start on the dirt, Rigney Racing's Xigera (Nyquist) impressed her connections with a 6 1/4-length win in Churchill's Seneca Overnight S. Sept. 23. The effort was enough to prompt a Breeders' Cup discussion and the daughter of Nyquist was pre-entered in the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff only to be withdrawn from consideration early week and rerouted to Saturday's GII Mother Goose S. The move proved to be a smart one as Xigera rewarded her connections with another open-length win at even money.

Switched to the main track after four-straight turf races dating back to a poor performance in last year's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, the 3-year-old went off favored Saturday in her second attempt at a graded stake on the dirt (she was fourth in last year's GI Alcibiades). Out moved to the front by an eager Undervalued Asset (Speightstown), Xigera was content to sit a stalking trip in second into the backstretch. A length off that leader through a half mile in :48.46, Julien Leparoux kept his filly under wraps even as Defining Purpose (Cross Traffic) began to make an early bid alongside into the far turn. Sandwiched between runners with a quarter left to run, Xigera had plenty left to offer as the pacesetter faded to the inside and quickly moved clear inside the final sixteenth to win going away under a hand ride. Defining Purpose held on for second over a closing Occult (Into Mischief).

“The hindsight is the easiest sight, so now that it's done, it was the right decision [to come here rather than the Breeders' Cup],' said winning trainer Phil Bauer. “I'm overwhelmed. It's a pretty cool race historically. This year, as a whole, has just been phenomenal for Richard [Rigney, owner] and us, and to accomplish what we have is something special and we need to make sure we don't take it for granted. It was the right decision and hopefully, it will springboard her to a 4-year-old campaign that has been as impressive as her last two races.”


Pedigree Note:

Argent Affair, a stakes winner herself, RNA'd at last year's Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale for just $100,000 despite producing GSW Forty Under (Uncle Mo) along with GSP Myriskyaffair (Verrazano) and Saturday's winner. A $190,000 yearling, Xigera is one of 21 stakes winners from four racing crops for champion 2-year-old colt and GI Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. Damsire Black Tie Affair (Ire), himself a Horse of the Year and GI Breeders' Cup Classic victor, also sired the dam. of MG1SW Mastercraftsman (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}). Xigera's only younger half-sibling is a weanling Street Boss filly. Argent Affair visited Mo Donegal for 2024.

Saturday, Belmont The Big A
MOTHER GOOSE S.-GII, $250,000, Belmont The Big A, 10-28, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m, 1:48.99, ft.
1–XIGERA, 122, f, 3, by Nyquist
                1st Dam: Argent Affair (SW, $154,895),
                                by Black Tie Affair (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Caty's Quest, by Norquestor
                3rd Dam: Cataque, by Clever Trick
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($190,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP).
O-Rigney Racing, LLC; B-Cedar Hill, LLC (KY); T-Philip A. Bauer;
J-Julien R. Leparoux. $137,500. Lifetime Record: 9-5-1-1,
$576,601. *1/2 to Forty Under (Uncle Mo), GSW, $380,536;
1/2 to Myriskyaffair (Verrazano), GSP, $271,095. Werk Nick
Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Defining Purpose, 124, f, 3, Cross Traffic–Defining Hope, by
Strong Hope. ($14,000 RNA Ylg '21 KEEJAN). O-Katsumi
Yoshida; B-Colette Marie VanMatre (KY); T-Kenneth G.
McPeek. $50,000.
3–Occult, 124, f, 3, Into Mischief–Magical Feeling, by Empire
Maker. ($625,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-Alpha Delta Stables, LLC;
B-Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-Chad C. Brown.
Margins: 3HF, 3/4, 2 3/4. Odds: 1.05, 7.20, 2.00.
Also Ran: Julia Shining, Foggy Night, Undervalued Asset, Peak Popularity.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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