LNJ Foxwoods’ Covfefe showed the racing world why she was the top 3-year-old filly of 2019, when she surged to the lead at the top of the stretch and held off Bellafina by three-quarters of a length to win the 13th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita Park.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Joel Rosario, Covfefe covered the 7 furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.40. The victory was the second of the weekend for Cox who saddled British Idiom to victory in Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. For Rosario, it was his 10th Breeders’ Cup victory and second in the Filly & Mare Sprint, having won previously in 2015 on Wavell Avenue.
It was also just the second time that a 3-year-old filly won the Filly & Mare Sprint, which was first run in 2007.
Breaking from post 1, Covfefe went off as the 3-2 favorite with nine runners starting in the Filly & Mare Sprint. Longshots Danuska’s My Girl and Heavenhasmynikki dueled for the early lead with Covfefe rating in third. Turning for home, Covfefe moved three wide to the front and found another gear. The bay daughter of Into Mischief shook off a challenge from Spiced Perfection and then had enough to hold off Bellafina.
The victory marked her second Grade 1 triumph of the year, in addition to the Longines Test Stakes at Saratoga, and completed a season of five wins in six starts.
Cox was impressed with his filly’s performance, bucking some history along the way. “She overcame a lot today,” said the winning trainer. “I know this race hasn’t been around a long, long time but I think eight Test winners maybe have tried this and not been able to break through. One, two and three were all holes horses hadn’t performed well from, 3-year-olds hadn’t performed well in the race. The list went on of all these things which hadn’t been done. But I didn’t waiver. I thought there was no shot of her not running her race. I knew she was going to run her race. You just stay optimistic and know your horse is doing well and the rest will take care of itself.”
In recognition of her prowess, Covfeve was voted two Eclipse Awards for 2019, as champion Female Sprinter and Champion 3-year-old Filly. She became the first filly to win both awards since Rachel Alexandra did it in 2009. Covfefe was retired in February of 2020 to Gainesway Farm.