EASTERN-BASED FILLY AMANZI YIMPILO RALLIES TO WIN $100,000 SPEAKEASY STAKES BY A HEAD AS SHE BEATS THE BOYS UNDER SAEZ; TRAINED BY WARD, IRISH-BRED GET 5 ½ FURLONGS ON TURF IN 1:02.77
RACE IS A BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE RACE QUALIFIER
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 26, 2020)–Forwardly placed throughout, eastern-based filly Amanzi Yimpilo rallied under Luis Saez to take Saturday’s $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita by a head, defeating seven males in the process while earning a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Sprint Nov. 6 at Keeneland. Trained by Wesley Ward, Amanzi Yimpilo took blinkers off in what was her third start and got 5 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:02.77.
A first-out maiden turf sprint winner June 10 at Gulfstream Park, Amanzi Yimpoli, who fetched $300,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, was most recently third in an ungraded stakes going 5 ½ furlongs on turf at Saratoga on Aug. 19.
“She was pretty nervous behind the gate, we had a little trouble, but I knew she was ready,” said Saez, who was aboard for the first time today. “I could feel the power. She just broke very well and sat in a great spot which was the spot I was (hoping) to be in. When we came down the stretch, she fought. She was a fighter and we got there. I had a feeling we would get it.”
Off as 5-2 second choice in a field of nine that included one other filly, Amanzi Yimpilo paid $7.20, $3.80 and $3.00.
“We worked her a half mile on the dirt and we went wide, we weren’t really trying to set the track afire,” said Blake Heap, assistant to Ward regarding Amanzi Yimpilo’s lone workout at Santa Anita on Sept. 19. “We wanted to do something to get a feel of the situation here and get a little air. It worked out well. It’s onto the Breeders’ Cup we hope!”
Wyfire, in his first try on turf, ran a huge second under Flavien Prat, finishing a half length in front of Windy City Red. Off at 7-2, Wyfire paid $4.20 and $3.40.
Ridden by Jose Valdivia, Jr., Windy City Red was off at 16-1 and paid $5.40 to show while outfinishing 2-1 favorite Commander Khai by a neck.
Fractions on the race were 21.89, 44.66 and 56.51.
The Speakeasy Stakes is a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier, with the winner earning a fees paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Nov. 6 at Keeneland.