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Breeders Cup 2015

Nellie Cashman Thrives in Turf Routes

A look at the past performances of Friday’s Pin Oak Valley View (G3) entrant Nellie Cashman shows a dramatic improvement in the filly’s form when she made her first start on grass in her sixth race.

“Instead of what took so long to put her on turf, a better question would be what took you so long to stretch her out,” trainer Francis “Tres” Abbott III said. “She had always run well enough with a couple of seconds that she stayed on the dirt and sprinting.”

In her turf debut Preakness Weekend at Pimlico going 1 1/16 miles, Nellie Cashman finished second in a 14-horse field. She has not finished behind a horse since in three races.

Owned by Sycamore Racing, Nellie Cashman broke her maiden by 5¼ lengths against Pennsylvania-breds and then won the Virginia Oaks (G3). In her most recent start, she was disqualified from a victory in the Woodford Reserve Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga for drifting out in the stretch.

“She has always been kind of special,” the 30-year-old Abbott said. “When we got her, the people that broke her said she had done everything right.”

She did enough right to be invited to last weekend’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), an invitation that had to be declined.

“She came down with a little fever and we missed a day of training , but she was fine by Saturday,” said Abbott, who has 16 horses in his stable at Fair Hill, Md. “If it had been a morning ship, she could have run instead of shipping here and missing another day or two. I blew her out three-eighths yesterday morning and she got here last night about 10.”

Nellie Cashman will break from post position one under Forest Boyce in the 1 1/16-mile Pin Oak Valley View.

“I’d like to think she will be as competitive in there as she was at Saratoga,” Abbott said. “I was glad to see Caroline Thomas run so well here last weekend and the result of the Pebbles at Belmont on Monday.”

Caroline Thomas, who finished third in the QE II, was elevated to the victory in the Woodford Reserve Lake Placid. Tapicat, who was fifth in the Lake Placid behind Nellie Cashman, ran second in the Pebbles behind Discreet Marq, a Grade 1 winner.




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