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Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (PTHA)

  /  Backstretch Buzz   /  Vequist Turns the Tables on Dayoutoftheoffice in Juvenile Fillies

Vequist Turns the Tables on Dayoutoftheoffice in Juvenile Fillies

Vequist takes command in the Juvenile Fillies. (Eclipse Sportswire)


Trainer Butch Reid has noticed that Vequist doesn’t mind racing inside, and that affinity proved to be very useful Nov. 6, when the filly found an opening on the inside and powered clear to a two-length victory in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

One start after chasing Dayoutoftheoffice around the track before settling for second to that rival in the Frizette Stakes Oct. 10 at Belmont Park, Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, and breeder Swilcan Stable’s Vequist turned the tables in the first try at two turns for both fillies. Reid said while they came up short at Belmont, he was looking forward to stretching out the daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist to two turns.

“The way she finished in the Frizette it absolutely gave me confidence,” said Reid, who also won the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Marathon with Afleet Again. “To be able to compete against horses of that level made me feel really good.”

Under a perfectly timed move by jockey Joel Rosario, Vequist, who tracked from second or third throughout, took command at the sixteenth pole and draw off late. Pacesetting Dayoutoftheoffice could not match strides, but held second by a nose over Girl Daddy. The final time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:42.30.

“I tried to save ground. It was hard for her in the turn because I had a horse outside me. But she did great,” said Rosario, who posted his 12th Breeders’ Cup victory overall and second in the Juvenile Fillies as he also guided Jaywalk to victory in 2018. “I never gave up my position. As soon as I asked her she went on with it. It was a very good performance.”

Barber, who joined Adam Wachtel to buy in after Vequist’s runner-up debut at Parx Racing, said he talked it over with Wachtel and they decided that because Reid knew her best it was best to leave the filly with him. That decision would pay immediate dividends as she would win the Spinaway Stakes in her next start Sept. 6 at Saratoga Race Course prior to her start in the Frizette.

With her lucrative Juvenile Fillies score, Vequist improved her career record to two wins from four starts with earnings of $1,235,500. –Frank Angst