Xigera Wins Third Straight In Churchill's Holiday Feature

Xigera | Coady

Xigera (Nyquist) no longer needs to prove to anyone her affinity for the dirt. As if she needed to off back-to-back stake wins by a combined 9 3/4 lengths. She certainly had the wagering public on her side in Thursday's feature race under the TwinSpires, going off at a popular 1-9 to take her third-straight race and second graded stake in the GIII Falls City S.

Since swapped to the main track by owner Rigney Racing and trainer Phillip Bauer, the 3-year-old, who should have inspired confidence off a third in last year's GI Darley Alcibiades S., has done nothing but win. And that's not to say she wasn't winning on the grass as she picked up a stakes win in the Tepin S. at Ellis Park July 1, her last start before making the switch.

Third past the stands first time by, Xigera was content to sit a tracking trip as Jag Warrior (Shackleford) sped over from an outside gate to clear the field and lead into the first turn. Racing just off the flank of Music Street (Street Sense) nearly the entire way around, the favorite was joined on her outside by Bellamore (Empire Maker) into the far turn to make it four across for the lead. But, as that top group straightened for the wire, Xigera's class prevailed and she sprinted away under a heavy hand ride through the final furlong. Music Street chased her home but was always second best as Xigera prevailed by open lengths. The win gave Rigney Racing back-to-back scores in the Falls City as they took last year's edition with Played Hard (Into Mischief).

“We've always loved her since she was a 2-year-old,” said winning rider Julien Leparoux. “May have made a mistake keeping her in the grass as long as we have but she's had a great year overall. She's going to be even better next year. I think she's a very exciting horse.”

“She's a special type of horse which makes our job easy,” added Phil Bauer. “You hang a bridle on her and she knows what she needs to do. I'm so fortunate to be in the position I am with a great stable and owner. At the time we thought grass was her preferred surface as a 2-year-old but she's proven us wrong. She has such a quick turn of foot which makes her so dynamic.”

Pedigree Note:

Argent Affair, a stakes winner who RNA'd for just $100,000 at last year's KEENOV sale, has produced three other winners from four to race excluding Xigera. Most notably are GSW Forty Under (Uncle Mo) and GSP Myriskyaffair (Verrazano). Xigera is one of 22 stakes winner for fourth-crop sire Nyquist.

Thursday, Churchill Downs
FALLS CITY S.-GIII, $400,000, Churchill Downs, 11-23, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8m, 1:50.75, ft.
1–XIGERA, 120, 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
($190,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-Rigney Racing, LLC; B-Cedar Hill,
LLC (KY); T-Philip A. Bauer; J-Julien R. Leparoux. $240,455.
Lifetime Record: GISP, 10-6-1-1, $817,056. *1/2 to Forty Under
(Uncle Mo), GSW, $380,536; and Myriskyaffair (Verrazano),
GSP, $271,095. Werk Nick Rating: A+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Music Street, 121, f, 4, Street Sense–Sudden Heat, by
($25,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-Kim Valerio, Prakash Sham
Masand and Grandview Equine; B-Woodford Thoroughbreds,
LLC (KY); T-D. Whitworth Beckman. $78,050.
3–Jag Warrior, 121, f, 4, Shackleford–Marquee Delivery, by
O-Robert Gauthier, Tony Crish and Chad Givens; B-David
Jacobs, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo & Given's Wings (KY); T-Dale L.
Romans. $39,025.
Margins: 6HF, HD, NO. Odds: 0.15, 49.07, 52.34.
Also Ran: Misty Veil, Shezz Koldazice, Skratch Kat, Bellamore, Distinctlypossible. Scratched: Hidden Connection.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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