Making her rounds in the walking ring outside of Keeneland’s quarantine barn Say (IRE)
took in her new surroundings before she made her way across Rice Road
to the main track for her morning activity under T.J. Comerford, head
traveling lad for trainer Aidan O’Brien.
“She’s very fresh this morning,” Comerford said about Say, a daughter
of Galileo (IRE) who cleared quarantine Monday night after arriving at
Keeneland Saturday night. “She is not used to all this. We have 650
acres out in the country; no airplanes taking off close by, no cars
going by (just yards from the barn).”
Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, the
3-year-old Say backtracked once around the main track and then trotted a
mile prior to the morning renovation break.
“She was very good this morning,” Comerford said. “Usually when Aidan
ships over here, they arrive on Tuesday, get out of quarantine
Thursday, go to the track Friday and run Saturday. With fillies, they
can be a little more temperamental and need a little more time to settle
A daughter of 2002 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) winner Riskaverse, Say is following a path set by stablemate Together (IRE).
Together ran second in the 2011 First Lady and came back a week later
to win the QE II. It is anticipated Say will receive an invitation this
week to the QE II, scheduled for Oct. 12.
“We have done this before,” Comerford said, noting that a quick
turnaround would be nothing new for Say, who ran four times in 24 days
this summer. “We do not need to do too much with her here.”
Say enters the one-mile First Lady off a third-place finish in the
Fusaichi Pegasus Matron (G1) on Sept. 7 at Leopardstown going a mile
against older fillies and mares. Prior to that, she won the Dance Design
(G3), also against older rivals.
“She closed a lot of ground the last time out,” Comerford said.
“Before we came over, we broke her out of the gate. We have an
American-style gate that we use when getting horses ready to come over
for Breeders’ Cup races, but in our regular training we do not
concentrate as much on the gate as they do here.”
Comerford said Joe Bravo would have the mount on Say in the First Lady.