Top 2-year-olds were spread out across the state of Kentucky in the summer of 2020. Sittin on Go and Girl Daddy broke maiden at Ellis Park before winning stakes in stylish fashion at Churchill Downs. Plum Ali traveled from her New York base to Kentucky Downs for an eye-catching win. As usual, good horses can be found throughout Kentucky, and we take a closer look at the seven most impressive 2-year-old runners in the state this summer.
This $500,000 daughter of Uncle Mo added to the strong week forRomans. The Pocahontas Stakes (G3) winner may have even more promise than her stablemate as Romans called her “the best 2-year-old filly I ever trained.” That is high praise coming from a trainer as experienced as Romans, and one can see why. The Pocahontas looked wide open turning for home, but Girl Daddy accelerated in the stretch, distancing herself from her rivals. The Ellis Park maiden winner is now perfect in two starts and could vie for favoritism in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with fellow easy stakes winners Princess Noor and Vequist.
Atta Girl (Daddy)!!September 4, 2020
This First Samurai filly was impressive on debut at Saratoga on July 23, but took her game to a whole new level in the Mint Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Kentucky Downs, dusting the field with her ears pricked for Christophe Clement. On the basis of her first two starts, it may be fair to call her the leading juvenile turf filly in America heading into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The best is yet to come for this potential future star. Though Clement scratched her out of the off-the-turf P.G. Johnson, it will be interesting to see if he decides to give her a try on the dirt during her 3-year-old campaign next year.
Race 9, The One Dreamer is up next! Watch live on TVG. pic.twitter.com/iXs5xyAzqX— TVG (@TVG) September 7, 2020
The Godolphin colt trained by Brad Cox opened some eyes with a visually impressive debut win on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill Downs. Despite not having the smoothest of trips, this son of Tapit poured it on in the stretch. It seemed like he was just beginning to find his best stride at the wire, and he will enjoy two turns. If he is able to sneak in a prep before the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, this colt could make some serious noise in that race.
ESSENTIAL QUALITY, a @godolphin homebred son of Tapit (@Gainesway) out of a half-sister to @BreedersCup Juvenile Fillies winner Folklore, wins nicely on debut for @bradcoxracing @ChurchillDowns. Look at that stride. With better luck, wins by 5 more today. pic.twitter.com/0TTL7gkWXH— Michael Adolphson (@AdolphsonRacing) September 5, 2020
Though Sittin on Go and Girl Daddy broke maiden at Ellis Park, the highest maiden Beyer Speed Figure of the meet belonged to this son of Upstart. Ron Moquett, who is not known for cranking horses up for debut, had this colt ready to roll to a five-length victory. He earned an 81 Beyer Speed Figure while winning in hand Aug. 30. His smashing win flew under the radar, but he will not stay there for long if he can reproduce that effort next time out.
Cazadero looked like he could be any type following an easy maiden win and a dominant score in the Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill Downs for trainer Steve Asmussen. He earned a strong 81 Beyer Speed Figure for his debut and followed that with an 80 Beyer Speed Figure in the Bashford Manor. He showed a high cruising speed in both scores and seemed like a deserving favorite in the Saratoga Special (G2). He did not show up that day, running fifth to his star stablemate Jackie's Warrior, but it is far too early to give up on this son of Street Sense. He will enjoy two turns and will look to prove that poor effort was just the case of having a bad day the next time he runs.
Cazadero's stablemate, Whiskey Double, will look to join him as a graded stakes winner in the near future. Expectations are high for this $875,000 son of Into Mischief and he delivered with a debut score at Churchill Downs on June 27. He defeated Medicine Tail, who returned to win a maiden and run second in a stakes race at Ellis Park. It is too soon to tell how good this colt will be, but he is bred like a star and should get even better as the distances increase.