Cox's turf duo may get a Keeneland rematch with Vasilika

September 11, 2019 09:13am

Brad Cox-trained runners who finished on either side of Vasilika in recent trips to the West Coast may both be in for an Oct. 5 rematch should one of the best mares on turf make the trip to Kentucky for her final Breeders’ Cup prep.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who once claimed Vasilika, now a Grade 1 winner, remains banned from stabling and racing at The Stronach Group’s tracks. With Santa Anita Park next up on the southern California circuit, Keeneland and its Grade 1, $400,0000 First Lady is a prep race option.

Two starts back, Beau Recall defeated Vasilika in Del Mar’s Aug. 3 Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G2). Vasilika then came back Aug. 31 to edge Juliet Foxtrot by a nose over the same course in the John C. Mabee (G2).

Cox says both Beau Recall and Juliet Foxtrot are both pointing toward the one-mile First Lady, a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.

“As far as the Breeders’ Cup, that’s not a long way off,” Cox said. “They’d have to step and give a good impression.”

Beau Recall, a 5-year-old daughter of Sir Prancealot, went to the Keeneland sales ring last January after running most of her career on the west coast, then moving to Cox’s barn for a Dec. 22 stakes score at Fair Grounds. She didn’t meet her reserve auction price, however, and returned to training.

Since then, the Slam Dunk Racing and Medallion Racing mare has gone on to win four of six starts this season, with the Yellow Ribbon her most-recent start. Beau Recall is back on the work tab at Churchill Downs.

Juddmonte Farms homebred Juliet Foxtrot, meanwhile, is a 4-year-old by Dansili who made a Keeneland allowance victory last April her first domestic start after running eight times overseas with just one victory.

In Cox’s care, she’s a Grade 3 winner with that John C. Mabee her only defeat. It was by the slimmest of margins, too.

“I won’t watch that replay,” Cox said with a laugh. “I refuse to.”

As for Vasilika and the Breeders’ Cup, it will be up to a the championships’ officials, not Santa Anita, to determine whether Hollendorfer can enter horses, a spokesman said earlier this summer.

Vasilika looms as a major Filly & Mare Turf threat in a race that figures to be led by Chad Brown-trained Sistercharlie.

2019 First Lady (G1)

 

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