Speakeasy Preview: Feathers Makes American Debut
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
Courtesy of Aaron Halterman of the Racing Dudes
Arcadia, California – After 2 impressive starts overseas, the Peter Miller-trained Feathers will take on the boys in her American debut this Saturday in the $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
The winner of the Speakeasy will receive an automatic position in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) this fall at Keeneland. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of Kentucky will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
The Speakeasy is a 5-1/2 furlong grass dash restricted to 2-year-olds, with the 2020 edition attracting a field of nine.
Let’s look at the full field:
#1 The Great One – Trainer Doug O’Neill entered 3 first-time starters in this race, and all drew together in the 1, 2, and 3 posts. The Great One is sired by Nyquist and is partially owned by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Eric Johnson, which explains why he is named after “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky. The name is certainly stellar and Nyquist has been fantastic as a 2-year-old sire so far. The colt comes into this race after a long line of steady workouts.
#2 No Pedigree – Hopefully, this first-time starter can outrun his name, which implies that his pedigree leaves a bit to be desired. The Louisiana-bred certainly doesn’t have the flashiest of bloodlines, but his $185k purchase price indicates that he showed some talent. The colt spent the summer at Saratoga, showing several solid works, before putting in his final drill for this race locally on September 18.
#3 Basque Man – The final O’Neill debut runner spent his summer at San Luis Rey Training Center. After several workouts (including a bullet 5-furlong work on September 3), he shipped to Santa Anita, where he put in his final preparation for this event on September 19.
#4 Commander Khai – This colt had a solid meet at Del Mar over the summer, finishing second on debut against maiden special weight company before winning a 5-furlong turf event against a sharp field. Red-hot southern California jockey Umberto Rispoli has the mount once again, which is a great sign.
#5 Amanzi Yimpilo – This other filly in the race made her debut a winning one at Gulfstream Park before shipping to Saratoga for the Bolton Landing Stakes, where she finished third. The filly showed solid early footing in that spot, which has been a dangerous weapon over this turf course in past sprints.
#6 Fury Kap – When it comes to debut wins, he might own the most impressive one in the group. He romped by over 9 lengths at Tampa Bay Downs on May 29 while going 5 furlongs on dirt, but now he moves to the turf and has not been seen since that victory. Those will be big question marks coming into this race, but there is no questioning his talent level.
#7 Wyfire – After a so-so debut, he picked it up next time out in a big way, defeating maiden special weight company by 3 1/2 lengths while going 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt. He must move to the turf for this event, which is a question mark, but having the duo of trainer Peter Miller and jockey Flavien Prat certainly works in his favor.
#8 Windy City Red – This Jonathan Wong trainee ships in from Golden Gate Fields after a solid debut victory by 2 lengths against maiden special weight foes. The competition in southern California is much tougher, but Wong has had success with northern California shippers in the past.
#9 Feathers – This nicely-bred Irish filly won her debut at Goodwood with a solid effort, then finished fifth in the Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Star Stakes last time out. She was then privately sold to new owners and sent to Miller, who will give a leg up to Ricky Gonzalez as they try to improve upon their solid 23% win rate together.
The Speakeasy serves as race 5 and is one of seven stakes on the Saturday card at Santa Anita Park. The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events continue Sunday at Santa Anita Park with the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (Sprint) and the Zenyatta (Longines Distaff).
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is presented by America’s Best Racing.
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to racingdudes.com.
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