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Frizette Preview: Asmussen Sends Pair for Final Breeders’ Cup Prep
Cantata breaking her maiden (Credit: NYRA)

Frizette Preview: Asmussen Sends Pair for Final Breeders’ Cup Prep

ELMONT, NY – Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen sends a lethal pair in Cantata and Joy’s Rocket off to their final prep for the Breeders’ Cup in Saturday’s $250,000 Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.

The winner of the Frizette will receive an automatic position in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) 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 Frizette is a one-turn dirt mile event restricted to 2-year-old fillies. The 2020 edition attracted 7 runners.

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Let’s look at the full field:

#1 Vequist – She became the first Grade 1 winner sired by the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion Nyquist when she broke her maiden by an astonishing 9 1/2 lengths in the Spinaway Stakes (G1) at Saratoga last time out. She fired 5 furlongs in a sharp :59.60 as her penultimate work for this race and trainer Butch Reid Jr. has a 25% overall success rate with juveniles.

#2 Cantata – Her debut victory was one of the most impressive-looking maiden-breaking scores all summer long at Saratoga, romping by 10 1/4 lengths while covering 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track. The high-priced ($950k) daughter of elite sire Medaglia d’Oro has worked consistently well since that mid-August day and should improve in her second career start.

#3 Cilla – A first-crop daughter of two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome, she makes her first start for new trainer Bentley Combs after co-breeder Brett Brinkman saddled her to a 3-1-0-1 record. She broke her maiden at second asking in a sloppy 6-furlong sprint at Delaware Park, so if the main track comes up wet on race day, she could make noise at a nice price.

#4 Joy’s Rocket – She broke her maiden on debut in a sloppy 5-furlong Churchill Downs sprint, then won the 5 1/2-furlong My Dear Stakes on Woodbine’s synthetic main track. She finished second last time out while trying turf for the first time in the Bolton Landing Stakes and returns to dirt after setting a strong early pace in each of her 3 career starts.

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#5 Dayoutoftheoffice – She broke her maiden on debut at Gulfstream Park in May, then pulled off a 19/1 shocker in the Schuylerville Stakes (G3) at Saratoga two months later, crossing 6 lengths clear despite being eased with 1/16 of a mile still to go in the race. The 83 Beyer Speed Figure that she earned in the latter ties Vequist’s Spinaway as the highest earned in this field.

#6 Get On the Bus – Trainer Doug O’Neill continues his aggressive placing practice with this daughter of Uncle Mo, sending her to New York still looking for her first career win. She finished second in the Sorrento Stakes (G2) on debut and fourth in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (G1), the latter coming behind the undefeated division leader Princess Noor.

#7 Fifth Risk – She broke her maiden on debut at Saratoga near the end of the meet, taking a 6-furlong dirt sprint by a 1/2-length after pressing the pace and fighting gamely in the stretch. While the 52 Beyer Speed Figure that she earned doesn’t jump off the page, trainer Todd Pletcher’s juveniles historically win 23% of their starts after breaking their maidens.

The Frizette serves as race 5 and is one of 5 stakes on the Saturday card at Belmont Park, 4 of which are Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events. Belmont Park also hosts the final American-based qualifier for the World Championships on Sunday, the Futurity Stakes (G3) for the Juvenile Turf Sprint.


The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is presented by America’s Best Racing.

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