Rigney Racing's Xigera (Nyquist), the 6 1/2-length GIII Falls City S. winner on Thanksgiving Day, will enjoy a planned break this winter before targeting next year's GI La Troienne S. on Kentucky Derby weekend, according to trainer Phillip Bauer.
The Kentucky-based conditioner won last year's Falls City with now-retired Played Hard (Into Mischief) who returned five months later to win the La Troienne by a neck over GI Longines Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath (Arrogate).
“We're going to take her to the sidelines for the winter and hopefully take the same course as we did last year with Played Hard and target the La Troienne,” said Bauer. “Our year-end goal next year will be the Breeders' Cup. We got bit with the injury bug this year with Played Hard who we retired and never got to make it to the Breeders' Cup. Hopefully Xigera can fill Played Hard's shoes now that she's out of the barn.”
The 3-year-old's victory in Falls City was her fifth win from six starts this year. Bauer successfully switched Xigera to the dirt three starts ago in the Seneca Overnight S. Sept. 23 before taking home the GII Mother Goose S. by 3 1/2 lengths during the Belmont at the Big A meet Oct. 28.
Xigera gave Rigney and Bauer three wins on the holiday card. The duo won race nine with veteran Angkor (Anchor Down) and race 12 with 2-year-old first time starter Legadema (Arrogate).