Nest Returns with Stylish Victory in Shuvee

Nest Returns with Stylish Victory in Shuvee


Nest (Curlin), off since finishing fourth in last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff, was second in the betting to Clairiere (Curlin)–who already had a pair of Grade I victories to her credit this termr–but it was the returning champion who sailed under the wire first in the GII Shuvee S. at Saratoga Sunday. Sent off at 4-5, Nest broke on top, but allowed Pistol Liz Ablazen (Daredevil) to take over and spurt to a clear lead on the first turn. That longshot took the field through fractions of :24.82 and :49.87 as Nest tracked from second, just ahead of 3-5 favorite Clairiere. Nest rolled up to challenge the pacesetter midway on the far turn and, getting the jump on Clairiere, scampered clear into the stretch. The favorite tried valiantly to run her down, but Nest was always finding more late for an easy score.

“More than worth the wait,” winning co-owner Mike Repole said of the victory. “At the end of the day, you want a horse like this best for the last four races of the year, not the first four. She had a huge 3-year-old campaign. We wanted to get her back in June on Belmont day [in the GI Ogden Phipps], but Todd [Pletcher] just thought she needed a little bit more time. Going a mile and an eighth after eight, nine months off against a horse like Clairiere, that was real impressive. They could have gone around two more times, she wasn’t going to be passed. Todd did an amazing job, give him credit. [Jockey] Irad [Ortiz, Jr.] is just Irad. No one better than him right now.”

Pletcher was more than satisfied with last year’s champion 3-year-old filly’s return to the races.

‘I’m super proud of the filly,” he said. “She’s all class and it’s nice to see her come back and get back on track. We got a bit of a delayed start, but she showed she’s still in top-class form.”

He continued, “I have so much respect for Clairiere, and I know how good she is–she’s one of those that the race is never over. You can feel like you have a two-length lead and she just keeps coming at you. I was watching her intently and knowing she was going to make a big run at her. Nest was able to quicken away from her and keep to task. Super effort beating an older mare like that, as accomplished as she is.”

Nest, who won last year’s GI Ashland S. and was second in the GI Kentucky Oaks and GI Belmont S., is now three-for-three at Saratoga. She won last year’s GI Coaching Club American Oaks and GI Alabama S. at the Spa before coasting to a 9 3/4-length victory in the Oct. 2 GII Beldame S. at Belmont Park.

Nest could put her unbeaten Saratoga record on the line in the Aug. 25 GI Personal Ensign S.

“We’d like to run back in the Personal Ensign, if we think that’s enough time,” Pletcher said. “The ultimate decision will be what we do for a prep for the Breeders’ Cup [Distaff]. Do we go back to New York like we did last year or possibly the Spinster at Keeneland. Obviously, we have to suss out how she comes out of it. My initial assessment is she came back with pretty good energy.”

Aron Wellman, CEO of co-owner Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, was looking forward to the challenge of doubling up at the Spa two years in a row with Nest.

“The Personal Ensign would be the logical spot,” Wellman said. “She certainly seems to like it here. It’s a tough combination. The Shuvee to the Personal Ensign and the CCA Oaks to the Alabama are two tough combinations. Not many fillies have done it. It’s hard no matter who you are. We had some good fillies win the CCA Oaks and not be able to win the Alabama, some good fillies win the Shuvee and not win the Personal Ensign. She’ll prove herself in a different class if she’s able to do it.”

The Shuvee gave Eclipse Thoroughbreds its second graded victory of the weekend, following Anisette (GB) (Awtaad {Ire})’s win in the GII San Clemente S. at Del Mar.

“Pretty special,” Wellman said of the double. “The main thing is keeping our partners happy and delivering the goods to them. They deserve it. If it’s not for them to put the money to buy these horses, there’s no Eclipse. Two really special fillies in a very short time span on two coasts. I’m just really humbled and in awe. At some point, you just really try to sit back and slow time down a bit so you can appreciate the greatness.”

Pedigree Notes:

Marion Ravenwood, also the dam of Grade I winner Idol (Curlin) and stakes winner Lost Ark (Violence), sold in foal to Curlin for $2.6 million to M.V. Magnier at last year’s Keeneland November sale. Barren in 2021 or 2022, she produced a full-brother to Nest this year and was bred back to Into Mischief.

Sunday, Saratoga
SHUVEE S.-GII, $186,000, Saratoga, 7-23, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8m, 1:50.72, ft.
1–NEST, 122, f, 4, by Curlin
                1st Dam: Marion Ravenwood (SW, $112,598),
                                by A.P. Indy
                2nd Dam: Andujar, by Quiet American
                3rd Dam: Nureyev’s Best, by Nureyev
($350,000 Ylg ’20 KEESEP). O-Repole Stable, Eclipse
Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House; B-Ashview Farm &
Colts Neck Stables (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr.
$110,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. 3-year-old filly, MGISW,
12-8-2-1, $2,083,050. *1/2 to Dr Jack (Pioneerof the Nile),
MSP, $156,155; 1/2 to Lost Ark (Violence), SW, $242,600; Full
to Idol, GISW, $426,964. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple
Plus* Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Clairiere, 124, m, 5, Curlin–Cavorting, by Bernardini.
O/B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Steven M.
Asmussen. $40,000.
3–Skratch Kat, 118, f, 4, Arrogate–Wave Theory, by Smart
Strike. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($200,000 Ylg ’20 KEESEP).
O-Rigney Racing, LLC; B-Fred W. Hertrich lll & John D. Fielding
(KY); T-Philip A. Bauer. $24,000.
Margins: 2 1/4, 10, 9 3/4. Odds: 0.85, 0.75, 17.50.
Also Ran: Pistol Liz Ablazen.

Previous Post Next Post