With her triumph in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland July 11, Speech solidified her status among the best of her generation. The daughter of a low-level runner, Speech symbolizes the belief that exceptional horses can come from unlikely sources.
Speech was bred by Gail Rice who sells the offspring of her small broodmare band. She saw pedigree possibilities in Speech’s mother, Scribbling Sarah, a one-time winner, who closed her career in racing’s bottom tier. She purchased her for $7,500 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton February mixed sale in Lexington, Ky. She opted to mate her to Mr Speaker in his first breeding season in part because her son-in-law, jockey Jose Ortiz, had won a Grade 2 race on the stallion.
“(Speech) was beautiful every day of her life,” she said in a BloodHorse article posted July 16 regarding the filly’s upbringing. “I think she knew she was something special.”
Rice sold Speech as a newly turned yearling at the 2018 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s winter mixed sale. At the same Florida auction house the next year, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners paid $190,000 for her at the 2019 March 2-year-olds in training sale where she was cataloged under her original name of My Testimony.
Speech’s trainer Michael McCarthy was born in Ohio and raised in Arcadia, California where he got his first taste of racing at Santa Anita. He was a longtime assistant to future Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher before establishing his own stable in Southern California in 2014 so he could be with his wife and young daughter year-round. One of his first starters was Illuminant, who became a Grade 1 winner for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. McCarthy’s first Breeders’ Cup appearance was 2018 when his five starters included Dirt Mile (G1) winner City of Light and Juvenile Fillies (G1) third-place finisher Vibrance.
|July 11, 2020||Central Bank Ashland S.||KEENELAND||1||1|
|June 06, 2020||Santa Anita Oaks||SANTA ANITA PARK||2||2|
|May 02, 2020||OAKLAWN PARK||2|
|March 08, 2020||Santa Ysabel S.||SANTA ANITA PARK||3||2|
|February 01, 2020||SANTA ANITA PARK||2|
|December 14, 2019||LOS ALAMITOS RACE COURSE||1|
|November 15, 2019||DEL MAR||3|