Four Breeders' Cup Champions - Essential Quality, Fire At Will, Vequist and Monomoy Girl - Return to Action this Weekend
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2021) ― Four winners from the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland ― Essential Quality, Fire At Will, Vequist and Monomoy Girl ― are scheduled to make their 2021 debuts this weekend.
Saturday’s action features two Breeders’ Cup winners in prep races for the 147th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). Godolphin’s Essential Quality, last year’s TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1) winner and Two-Year-Old Champion, will return to competition in the 1 1/16-mile, $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. Undefeated in three starts, Essential Quality, a gray/roan son of Tapit, trained by Brad Cox, will face six rivals. He will break from post one under jockey Luis Saez as the 3-2 morning-line favorite.
Shortly before the Southwest, Three Diamonds Farm’s Fire At Will, who captured last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), will make his seasonal debut as the 7-2 second choice behind 9-5 Greatest Honour in the 1 1/16-mile, $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Trained by Mike Maker, Fire At Will, a dark bay son of Declaration of War, has won three of four starts. One of those victories came on dirt over a sloppy track at Saratoga last August when he won the With Anticipation Stakes, which was taken off the turf.
Kendrick Carmouche will ride Fire At Will, breaking from post four.
Also at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Vequist, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner and Champion Two-Year-Old Filly, has been made the 7-5 favorite in the 1-mile, $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes (G2) for 3-year-old fillies. Owned by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Swilcan Stable LLC, Vequist is a bay daughter of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. Trained by Robert Reid, Vequist will break from post three under Irad Ortiz Jr. in the 12-horse field.
On Sunday at Oaklawn Park, MyRacehorse Stable, Spendthrift Farm and Makadet Stables LLC’s 6-year-old mare Monomoy Girl, also trained by Cox, is slated to be a heavy favorite in the six-horse field of the 1 1/16-mile, $250,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) for older fillies and mares. A two-time winner of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), including a 1 ¾-length triumph in last year’s race, Monomoy Girl, a bay daughter of Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Tapizar, was voted last year’s Champion Older Dirt Female. Sporting a record of 13 wins in 15 starts, Monomoy Girl will be ridden by Florent Geroux from post six.
ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 5-6 at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.
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