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Breeders' Cup 2017

Quiet Giant Towers Over Rare Treat Foes

Quiet Giant, 2-for-2 over Aqueduct’s inner track, looks to make it three straight Sunday afternoon as she heads a field of five fillies and mares in the 40th running of the $65,000 Rare Treat.


The 1 1/8-mile Rare Treat will be run as the fifth of nine races on Sunday, sharing the card with the $65,000 Busher for 3-year-old fillies, which will be run as the eighth race.


Trained by Todd Pletcher, who saddled Life At Ten to victory in the 2010 edition of the Rare Treat, Quiet Giant drew off to an impressive 8 ¾-length victory in her Big A debut on December 12 in the Cheap Seats overnight stakes. Having closed out her 3-year-old campaign with a 3-1-0 record from six starts, the Giant’s Causeway filly returned a month later to take the Lady on the Run overnight stakes, also at a mile, by three equally impressive lengths.


“She’s had two very nice races,” said Pletcher’s assistant, Jonathan Thomas, of the Giant’s Causeway filly. “With her style of running, we think the added distance could be to her advantage. We think very highly of her.”


Racing in the colors of her breeder, the late Edward P. Evans, Quiet Giant is the 1-5 morning-line favorite for the Rare Treat as she leaves from post position 5. New York’s leading rider, Ramon Dominguez, has the call.


Opus A, a front-running winner of her 2011 debut, is one of two New York-bred fillies entered in the Rare Treat by trainer Rick Violette. The 4-year-old daughter of Read the Footnotes scored by six lengths in a one-mile optional claimer on January 20, which marked only her second start after a year layoff.


A winner of two of three races as a 2-year-old, including the East View, Opus A underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in her foot and returned to racing on December 9, finishing last after breaking awkwardly in a six-furlong optional claimer.


“We’ve finally got her back to where we thought she’d be after she won the East View,” said Violette, who trains Opus A for Broadway Blue Stable. “She’s been training very, very well.”


Violette will also saddle Awesome Bull, a 4-year-old Holy Bull filly who will be making her stakes and open company debut in the Rare Treat. Owned by E L R Corp., Awesome Bull owns a 2-2-1 mark from eight starts at the Big A, including an eight-length allowance victory facing state-breds at a mile and 70 yards on January 26.


“She’s got tactical speed, and this race offers a chance for her to get some open black type,” said Violette. “Hopefully, we can accomplish that.”


Leaving from post position 3, Jose Valdivia, Jr. will be aboard Opus A, the second choice at 5-1 on the morning line. Awesome Bull, supplemented to the race, drew post position 5 and will be ridden by Junior Alvarado at 15-1 on the morning line.


Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito will be represented by Ol Memorial Stables’ Mined Over Matter, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Cheap Seats and the Lady on the Run. The 4-year-old daughter of Mineshaft, owner of two wins from 11 starts, both at Suffolk Downs, will be ridden by David Cohen from the rail at 12-1 on the morning line.


Completing the field is Florida invader Dolce Pentimento, who broke her maiden at Calder Race Course on November 5 in an off-the-turf event and returned less than three weeks later to win an optional claimer, also taken off the turf. Channing Hill rides the Repent filly, 20-1 on the morning line, from post position 2.


The field for the $65,000 Rare Treat:








Mined Over Matter (KY)

D Cohen


N P Zito



Dolce Pentimento (FL)

C Hill


M Miceli



Opus A (NY)

J Valdivia, Jr.


R A Violette, Jr.



Quiet Giant (VA)

R A Dominguez


T A Pletcher



Awesome Bull (NY)

J Alvarado


R A Violette, Jr.




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