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Idiomatic won the 2023 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The Curlin filly defeated top division rival Nest for the 2nd time after that foe checked in 4th.
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Juddmonte’s homebred Idiomatic grabbed the lead at the start and never was threatened in posting a 4¼-length victory in the 68th running of the $600,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) for fillies and mares on Fall Stars Sunday at Keeneland.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Idiomatic covered the 1 1/8 miles over the fast main track in 1:49.82. It is the second win in the race for Geroux, who piloted I’m a Chatterbox to victory in the 2016 running.
Juddmonte, which has sponsored the Spinster since 2005, earned its second victory in the prestigious race, having won previously with Emollient in 2013.
The victory provided Idiomatic with a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) to be run at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.
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In the Juddmonte Spinster, Geroux put Idiomatic on the lead right out of the gate, and she quickly opened a daylight margin on the field of six while producing comfortable fractions of :24.49, :48.31 and 1:12.24.
On the final turn, Bellamore attempted to close the gap only to have Idiomatic hit another gear and spurt away to cruise to victory without a challenger to the finish.
A winner of seven of her past eight races and three in a row, Idiomatic is a 4-year-old homebred daughter of Curlin out of the First Defence mare Lockdown. Sunday’s victory was worth $367,350 and increased her earnings to $1,416,840.
Idiomatic returned $4.12, $2.62 and $4.42. Le Da Vida (CHI) rallied from last to get second under Vincent Cheminaud and returned $8.04 and $8.70. She finished 2½ length in front of Bellamore, who paid $14.44 to show under Martin Garcia.
It was another 4½ lengths back to favored Nest with Sixtythreecaliber and Malloy following next in order.
Brad Cox (winning trainer of Idiomatic)
On winning the Juddmonte Spinster for owner Juddmonte:
“It’s very special, and I want to thank (owner Fahad bin) Mr. Khalid and his family and obviously the Juddmonte team here in America. This is a big win for this filly, it’s her second Grade 1. She’s had a fantastic year. (This race is) a ‘Win and You’re In’ (for) the Breeders’ Cup so we’re excited about that. I’ve run four or five fillies in the past in (the Juddmonte Spinster) and haven’t had much luck, so she was able to break through for us today.
“She’s a tremendous talent, very physical, really. When I was saddling her in the Paddock, I was, like, ‘Wow, she’s the biggest horse I’ve ever trained.’ She’s a monster. She has a tremendous stride and covers so much ground. She’s really a freak – I mean, she really is a tremendous talent, and we’re very fortunate to have her.”
On looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff-G1 at Santa Anita:
“It comes down to, you know, California is speed, she’s got speed, and we’ll see who else signs on. It’ll be a showdown, I’m sure.”
Florent Geroux (winning rider)
On how easily she won a Grade 1 race:
“Actually, it was not easy looking at the race on paper with Nest being in there, a very good filly. But my filly just keeps on improving and we know the distance is not a problem. She just keeps improving, and (trainer) Brad (Cox) and his team had her at her prime again today. She’s just getting better and better, and I can’t wait to ride her again.”
Vincent Cheminaud (rider of runner-up Le Da Vida-CHI)
“We had a good trip. My filly ran very good. We were confident before the race because she was working very good in the morning and I’m very happy with a good performance. The winner is a very good horse. I’m happy for the future.”Martin Garcia (rider of third-place finisher Bellamore)
“The race on paper didn’t come out how it was supposed to, but that’s where I wanted to be. The other favorite (Nest) didn’t break and the other two horses stopped in front of me and I had to make my move a little bit early. She ran good; I mean the winner is a really good filly. (Bellamore) ran good today.”
Irad Ortiz Jr. (rider of fourth-place finisher Nest)
Jacob West (bloodstock agent for Mike Repole, co-owner of Nest)
“She kind of bobbled when they were getting ready to spring the latch. When they sprung the latch, it didn’t seem like she had her feet underneath her. For a filly that likes to be up there near the pace, our game plan got switched over to Plan B. There wasn’t really anything she could do from there. Hats off to the winner. She’s a really, really nice filly. There was no running her down when she switched into the lane. It’s a head scratcher a little bit, but I think missing the break just took her out of her game unfortunately.”
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