Nest Outclasses Rivals in Suncoast Romp
By Byron King and Molly Rollins BloodHorse
Nest ran as a 1-5 favorite should in the $100,000 Suncoast Stakes Feb. 12 at Tampa Bay Downs—defeating her rivals in a display of utmost class and professionalism.
The Todd Pletcher-trained daughter of Curlin , a full sister to 2021 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) hero Idol , has harbored high hopes since the beginning for her owners, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Repole Stable, and Michael House. A dominating debut winner last fall at Belmont Park, Nest annexed the 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle Stakes (G2) Dec. 4 at Aqueduct Racetrack in her third start.
Making her first start as a 3-year-old in the Suncoast, she settled into a stalking position in third early under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. Longshot Mining Chrome cruised through a moderate :24.52 opening quarter-mile and :49.29 half-mile, but into the run for the far turn, Alittleloveandluck , followed closely by Nest, pounced on the leader and took charge with six furlongs in 1:13.41. Alittleloveandluck clung gamely to the lead down the lane but was overcome hallway down the stretch by Nest, who sailed clear to a six-length victory.
Ortiz wrapped up on the filly late, who stopped the timer in 1:39.30 for a mile and 40 yards on a fast track. Alittleloveandluck was 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Blamethechampagne in third. Ha’ Penny was fourth.
“(Nest) made it look easy,” said Ortiz. “I was in a great position in the first turn, and after that I just sat on her and enjoyed the ride. I just let her go all the way through the stretch.”
The Suncoast awarded qualifying Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) points on a 10-4-2-1 scale, giving Nest a total of 20 points after also earning 10 in the Demoiselle. Nest is second on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard behind last year’s 2-year-old filly champion Echo Zulu , who has 30 points.
“We’re all very pleased with (Nest)’s performance,” said Pletcher. “She did it professionally and seemed to finish with good energy. We’re very excited. She should improve with time and distance.”
Bred in Kentucky by Ashview Farm and Colts Neck Stables, Nest sold to Eclipse and Repole for $350,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale from the Ashview Farm consignment. Nest is out of the stakes-winning A.P. Indy mare Marion Ravenwood . In addition to being a full sister to Idol, Nest is a half sister to the stakes-placed Dr Jack (Pioneerof the Nile). Marion Ravenwood has an unraced 2-year-old son of Violence named Lost Ark and was last reported bred to Curlin for 2022.