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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Trainer Butch Reid, Jr.’s Vequist broke her maiden with a stylish effort in Sunday’s $250,000 Spinaway Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
Breaking a step slow from post 2 under Luis Saez at 6/1 odds, Vequist quickly recovered and sidled up into a close stalking position with Beautiful Memories to her outside.
Esplanande set the pace, posting fractions of :22.41 and :44.87, but Vequist moved forward midway through the turn and straightened for home on the lead.
Drawing off in the stretch, Vequist crossed a widening 9 1/2 lengths clear of Esplanande, completing the 7-furlong fast dirt sprint in a final time of 1:22.29 for the race restricted to juvenile fillies.
“The plan today was to try and follow the speed,” Saez said. “There was a lot of speed in the race, so I wanted to break from there and find a good spot. Everything went so well, we broke, and we were right there. When we got to the 3/8 (pole), I had a lot of horse, and when we came to the stretch, she took off.”
Esplanande saved second by 1 1/2 lengths over Lady Lilly.
The rest of the field crossed in the strung-out order of Irish Constitution, Guana Cay, and Beautiful Memories, who was eased in the stretch for the second straight race.
Vequist’s win came after she finished second by a nose in her career debut, a 4 1/2-furlong dash at Parx in late July. The Nyquist filly has now earned $145,500 for co-owners Swilcan Stable (who also bred her), Gary Barber, and Wachtel Stable.
“It was more about the morning training than it was her first race,” said Reid, Jr. “We breezed her out of the gate one time and she was only supposed to go a 1/2-mile but she went in 48 (seconds) and just kept going – 1:01, 1:13, and 1:26. Even though we ran her in that 4 1/2-furlong race, it was more just getting a race under her belt. She was going to be looking for longer things down the road. You don’t expect to win a Grade 1 with a maiden, but I knew the distance wasn’t a problem.”
Vequist returned $15.20 to win, $7.20 to place, and $5.10 to show. Esplanande brought back $6.20 to place and $4.20 to show, while Lady Lilly paid $4.60 to show.
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