Hard as it is to believe that a daughter of a Horse of the Year out of a mare by another Horse of the Year sold for only $20,000 as a yearling, it isn't hard to see that she could become a champion.
Judy the Beauty is by 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper out of stakes-winning Holy Blitz, a daughter of 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull. Trainer Wesley Ward bought her from breeder Adena Springs at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale and now owns the 2014 female sprint Eclipse Award winner.
Ward has bases in the Midwest and Florida and frequently sends horses to California, where trainer Blake Heap can oversee them for him. That arrangement allowed Ward to manage Judy the Beauty's 2014 season ideally. Plus she ships well, as she proved when winning an allowance race at Chantilly in France as a 2-year-old.
Judy the Beauty, a 5-year-old in 2014, liked her races a little more spaced out, and Ward accommodated her. She had monthly races in March, April, and May before tuning up at Del Mar in the summer prior to the big one, the DraftKings Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I).
She began at Santa Anita Park with a brisk 4 3/4-length win after prompting the pace in the Las Flores Stakes (gr. III) March 9. Returned to Keeneland, she captured the April 4 Madison Stakes (gr. I), coming from farther back and scoring by 2 1/2 lengths.
Following her only loss of the year, a fourth in the May 3 Humana Distaff Stakes (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, Judy the Beauty again traveled to California. In Del Mar's Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) against three others, she registered a 1 1/4-length win.
While other Breeders' Cup starters put in their final preps closer to the Nov. 1 races, Judy the Beauty didn't need another race. Using her favorite tactic of stalking the pace, she flew home for a head victory in the Filly & Mare Sprint, sealing her championship.
Voting (Only first-place votes from members of the consolidated voting entities: National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters):