Nest Outperforms Rivals in Suncoast Romp

Nest ran as the expected 1-5 favorite in the $100,000 Suncoast Stakes on Feb. 12 at Tampa Bay Downs— beating its rivals in a display of absolute class and professionalism.

The girl trained by Todd Pletcher from Curling a full sister to the hero of Santa Anita Handicap (G1) 2021 Idol , has had high hopes for its owners, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Repole Stable and Michael House. A first winner dominating last fall at Belmont ParkNest annexed the 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle Stakes (G2) on December 4 at Aqueduct Racecourse on his third start.

Making her first start as a 3-year-old in the Suncoast, she settled into a stalking position in third at the start under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. Longshot mining chrome went through a moderate opening quarter mile: 24.52 and a half mile: 49.29, but in the race for the far turn, A little love and luck , followed closely by Nest, pounced on the leader and took the lead with six furlongs in 1:13.41. Alittleloveandluck held on valiantly to the lead in the hallway but was defeated in the hallway by Nest, who sailed clear for a six-length win.

Ortiz finished on the late filly, who stopped the clock in 1:39.30 for a mile and 40 meters on a fast track. Alittleloveandluck was 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Blamethechampagne third. Ha’penny was fourth.

“(Nest) made it easy,” Ortiz said. “I was in a great position in turn one, and after that I just sat on her and enjoyed the ride. I just let her go all the way through the stretch.”

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The Suncoast awarded qualifying points to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) on a 10-4-2-1 scale, giving Nest a total of 20 points after also scoring 10 in the Demoiselle. Nest is second in the Kentucky Oaks standings behind last year’s champion 2-year-old fillies Echo Zulu who has 30 points.

“We are all very happy with the performance of (Nest),” Pletcher said. “She did it professionally and seemed to finish with good energy. We’re very excited. She should improve with time and distance.”

Bred in Kentucky by Ashview Farm and Colts Neck Stables, Nest was sold to Eclipse and Repole for $350,000 at the September 2020 yearling sale at Keeneland from the Ashview Farm consignment. Nest is out of the AP Indy winning mare Marion Ravenwood . Besides being a full sister to Idol, Nest is a half-sister to the stakes placed Doctor Jack (Pioneer of the Nile). Marion Ravenwood has an unreleased 2-year-old son from Violence appointed lost ark and was last bred at Curlin in 2022.

Video: Suncoast S. (BT)

Bank on the edges of shea baby Yoda
Capitalizing on a field-saving trip under Ortiz Jr., Focus on shea upset at slow start heavy favorite Baby Yoda in the $75,000 Pelican Stakes one race before the Suncoast.

Photo: SV Photography

Bank On Shea (yellow cap) wins over Baby Yoda in the Pelican Stakes

Fourth down the straight behind a trio of dueling leaders and an opening quarter of :22.45 in the six furlong run, Bank On Shea slid the fence weakening the leader R Mercedes Boy deviated from the rail. Bank On Shea then passed three rivals, taking command with a half mile in: 45.63.

Baby Yoda, three wide for much of the race, fought back, passing Bank On Shea down the middle of the straight, but Bank On Shea proved stronger in the final 70 yards, winning by a neck . He completed the distance in 1:09.61, paying $9.60 as a second choice.

Pudding was still 1 3/4 lengths in third.

“The only way I could probably beat (Baby Yoda) was to gain ground at the back, so that’s what I did and it worked out well,” Ortiz said. “I’ve ridden this horse several times in New York and he always tries hard. He gives me his best every time I ride him.”

“Irad did a good job of stalling him behind the speed and running (Baby Yoda),” added coach Carlos David. “He’s a good sized, strong horse, and I was really impressed with his effort.”

The winner, a 5 year old son of central banker bred by Dr. Scott Pierce in New York, races for Shea D Boy’s Stable. It was a $110,000 purchase by his owner of the Niall Brennan Stables Consignment at the 2019 Spring Sale of the Ocala Breeders Sales of 2-Year-Olds in Training. His earnings total $497,750 with a 5-1-1 record in eight starts.

He is one of the two foals of the unpublished Uncle Mo Mare Miss Moultree whose other products are Give a littlea 2 year old filly by The House of the Brave . The mare was bred at thousand words for 2022.

Video: Pelican S. (BT)

by Sam Wilensky leave a hint won the other stakes race on the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) undercard in Tampa, the $50,000 Minaret Stakes. Antonio Gallardo was aboard the 5-year-old girl trained by Herman Wilensky in mischief who won by a neckline, going six furlongs in 1:10.48.

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