Blue Prize carries 'different expectations' into Breeders' Cup

Breeders' Cup Notes Team
October 31, 2018 02:55pm
Blue Prize carries 'different expectations' into Breeders' Cup
Photo: Coady Photography

Blue Prize galloped 1 3/8 miles at Keeneland before dawn Wednesday and then shipped in and settled at Churchill Downs to lead activity by Breeders' Cup Distaff contenders.

“Everything went right,” said trainer Ignacio Correas IV. “She's here at Churchill already in her stall. So everything is good.”

The 5yo Pure Prize mare brings a three-race win streak into the Distaff, including a pair of “Win and You're In” victories – the Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill June 16 and the Spinster Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 7.

The Spinster was the first Grade 1 win in the United States for both Blue Prize and for her Argentine-born trainer. Blue Prize won a Group 1 in October 2016 in her home country and was named champion filly before shipping to the states.

Her trip in Juddmonte Spinster was an exciting one. With Joe Bravo aboard, she took the lead off the turn and was drawing away in the 1 1/8-mile test when she suddenly veered right toward the center of the track. Bravo switched his stick from the left to the right, and she was able to get herself back together to hold off Champagne Problems, who was closing up the rail.

Blue Prize's win margin was three-quarters of a length.

“I hope that doesn't happen again,” Correas said. “She doesn't show in the mornings that she's going to do something like that.

“It's like she got bored or something,” he added. “But no, she'd never done anything like that. Maybe she spooked at something.”

Blue Prize, who is owned by Merriebelle Stable LLC, has failed to hit the board only once in her 16 lifetime starts. She's won and run second seven times each, and third once. Her career earnings stand at $964,753 heading into the Distaff.

She will be the second Breeders' Cup starter for Correas. He sent out Humble and Hungry in the 2010 Juvenile Turf for an eighth-place finish The experience coming in with Blue Prize is another story.

“Different approach and different situation,” he said. “One was taking a shot at a race with a horse I thought was a good horse, and he proved it through his career. He won the Commonwealth the next year, and was second and third in multiple stakes.

“He had proved to me he was a good horse and that's why we put him there. He got beat less than four lengths or something like that. He ran a good race and he was 28 to 1.

“(Blue Prize) is 6-1 (on the morning line), he said. “It's different. With this filly, we have different expectations.” 


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