Jacks Or Better Farm’s homebred Awesome Feather, the top 2-year-old filly in Florida, remained undefeated in six starts with a rousing victory in the $1,818,000 Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) (VIDEO) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez for trainer Stanley Gold, Awesome Feather was rated off the pace in the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile Fillies, which featured a field of 12. The lukewarm 4-1 favorite made her bid heading into the far turn to challenge front-running R Heat Lightning and wore down the leader in the stretch.
Awesome Feather defeated R Heat Lightning by 2 1/4 lengths. Delightful Mary rallied for third, another 2 1/4 lengths behind, while Believe in A. P. was fourth. The fractions were :23.90 for the first quarter-mile, :48.14 for a half-mile, 1:13.11 for six furlongs, and 1:38.46 for a mile.
Awesome Feather finished up in 1:45.17 on a fast track. She paid $10.40 to win.
“I waited and waited with my filly," said Sanchez, who has ridden Awesome Feather in all of her starts. "I wanted to make one move with her. When I asked her, she went. Then, when we got in the stretch with (R Heat Lightning) and when she bumped us, my filly tried harder. She came away from that other filly.
"The first time I rode her, I told everyone that this was a champion filly. Now she is a champion filly.”
Awesome Feather is a Florida-bred by Awesome of Course out of the Gone West mare Precious Feather. The bay filly dominated the Florida Stallion Stakes series this year, wining the three races by a combined 17 lengths.
“I had her ready to run the best race she could,” said Gold, who won his first Breeders’ Cup race, as did the owner and jockey. “She was up to the task. She didn’t disappoint anybody.”
Fred Brei of Jacks Or Better Farm said he has a smaller operation that produces 14-16 foals a year.
“We do it year after year that way hoping to get good horses,” Brei said. “We’ve been very fortunate doing that.”
Brei said Awesome Feather would remain in the Nov. 7 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky sale. He said Jacks Or Better prefers to race in Florida, and that the filly would have a chance to compete elsewhere with a new owner.
Awesome Feather earned $1,080,00 for the victory, boosting her overall bankroll to $1,495,746.