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Just F Y I won the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita Park to remain unbeaten through 3 career starts. The Bill Mott trainee previously won the Frizette Stakes (G1).
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Owner-breeder George Krikorian’s Just F Y I ($16) put away odds-on favorite Tamara at the top of the stretch and went on to hold off Jody’s Pride by a diminishing neck to win the 40th running of the $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) for 2-year-olds on a warm and sunny Friday afternoon at Santa Anita.
Trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Junior Alvarado, Just F Y I completed the mile and a sixteenth on a fast main track in 1:44.58. It is the 13th Breeders’ Cup victory for Mott and second for Alvarado but the first in the Juvenile Fillies for both.
Tamara, the daughter of three-time Breeders’ Cup winner and heroine of the 2012 Juvenile Fillies Beholder, set the pace with Just F Y I tracking a couple of lengths back. On the turn, Alvarado sent Just F Y I after Tamara and collared her at the top of the stretch and quickly kicked clear.
Jody’s Pride and second-choice Candied closed strongly but fell short of catching the winner with Candied another half-length back in third.
Just F Y I is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Justify out of the Street Cry (IRE) mare Star Act. Now undefeated in three starts, Just F Y I hiked her bankroll to $1,317,750 with Friday’s $1,040,000check.
Winning trainer Bill Mott, Just FYI – “She broke tremendously. I was a little worried she was going to get a little too rank, but once she got position, she looked like she was settled down.
You had to worry about how fast they were going because the filly (Tamara) Mike (Smith) was on is pretty fast. We got lucky. We had a great trip and she came into the race in great order and she showed us what she could do.”
Winning jockey Junior Alvarado, Just FYI – “You know I broke from the 12 (post position) and she broke very well. I nudged her a little bit out of there just to get some position and save some ground. She was there every step of the way helping me out. When I asked her, she was was all out there for me.”
Trainer Jorge Abreu, second with Jody’s Pride – “A great ride and a great finish. She put in a great effort. It was her third time out, third different track and I was stretching her out. I was concerned about the distance because she had never run this far before. Turning for home, I was screaming my head off. I thought she was going to get there. She is a real nice horse. We have liked her since Day One. I am beyond pleased and happy.”
Jockey Flavien Prat, second with Jody’s Pride – “We had a good trip. We took advantage of the draw and she was travelling well all the way around. Turning for home, it looked like the winner was going much better than I was. She was all game. She ran a good race and keep in mind this is the first time she was going long and two turns. She will step up from this race.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher, third with Candied, fourth with Life Talk and fifth with Scalable – “I was concerned when Candied drew the one-hole. I knew that would be an issue. She got just a little fractious when they kicked and she just stumbled. Cost her some critical position. She was next to last going into the first turn and from that point on, he was always trying to work his way through traffic. I thought she put in a good run. Sometimes you think drawing inside is good, but in her case I didn’t think it was good and it turned out to be something that I think cost us a better position, for sure.
“Life Talk we got a pretty good trip with. She was in a good stalking position kind of following the winner. She kind of ran on well, evenly.
“Scalable didn’t show much speed, dropped back to last and put in a decent run.”
Jockey Luis Saez, third with Candied – “She ran pretty good. She kind of stumbled from the gate but after that she recovered. She was coming. She finished running. I think she’s going to have a pretty good future.”
Trainer Richard Mandella, beaten favorite Tamara – We’ll have to back up and give her a little chance to catch up, start over again. Simple as that. We’ll hope everything is fine when she gets back. (Jockey Mike Smith) said she was pretty tired.”
Jockey Mike Smith, beaten favorite Tamara – “I had a really good trip. I got banged away a little from the inside leaving the gate, but, look, that happens all the time. She was able to get over that, but that shouldn’t have been something that prevented her from winning.. She went into the far turn, but her energy level just wasn’t there today. When I did pull up she did make a little noise. So they’re going to scope her to make sure her airwaves are clear. That’s really it.”
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