Big Q posts big “W” in Key Cents Stakes

Saturday, November 16th, 2019

Coglianese Photos

By Sarah Mace

Dutchess Views Farm’s Big Q, by New York sire Big Brown, turned an 85-day freshening to good account on Saturday when she scored a dominant victory in the $100,000 Key Cents for New York-bred juvenile fillies, which was run at six furlongs over a fast main track at the Big A.

Trained by Gary Gullo, Big Q came into the race a little light on Beyers, but with invaluable experience under her girth, all earned at the Spa

The bay won her 5 1/2-furlong debut by a half-length after a four-wide rally on Opening Day at Saratoga. Then, on August 4, Big Q plunged right into the deep end to contest the Grade 2 Adirondack. Far outrunning her 60-1 odds, she held her own through upper stretch, before being squeezed several times while mired down at the rail and finishing fifth. Wheeling back in the Seeking the Ante on August 23 for her third start in the span of 43 days, she finished a wide-trip fifth.

When the Key Cents field was drawn earlier in the week, Gullo said of her past performances, “When [Big Q] ran in the Adirondack she got into some trouble and got stopped pretty good at the eighth-pole. She came out of that one well, but I ran her back a little too quick after that. I think we’ve got a fresh horse now. She’s doing really well.”

Partnered for the third straight time with Jose Lezcano for the Key Cents, and drawn in the outside post of seven, Big Q wasted no time in making her presence known after the gates opened, despite being let go at 9-1 odds. Racing in tandem with Shadolamo in fourth for the first quarter mile, she watched as longshot All Over the Map vied for the lead with post-time favorite Time Limit.

After All Over the Map weakened, Big Q was all too ready to join the fray, hooking Time Limit early in the far turn and clinging like a limpet.

Fanning out a little wide while straightening away and asked for more in upper stretch, Big Q readily responded, taking over just in advance of the furlong marker. Widening her advantage with ease, she crossed the wire in possession of a 5-length victory while stopping the timer at 1:12.22.

Playtone closed into second, 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Time Limit in third. Shadolamo completed the superfecta, followed across the line by Single Verse, My Sassy Sarah and All Over the Map.

Jose Lezcano, who rode Big Q confidently throughout, reported, “She was real active. [In the Adirondack], she was inside and got bumped a couple of times. Today, she was more comfortable in the bridle the whole way. She really kicked on to win the race. She was in the clear and when I asked, she finished strong. She can do more. She’s a nice filly and she always tries.”

Gullo said, “I thought we were going to sit back and make up ground, but she’s sharp. We freshened her up and had her ready. It was a pretty good race.”

Not surprisingly, Gary Gullo is eying the filly division of the most valuable Stallion Stakes Series races in the country for the daughter of Big Brown, the $500,000 NYSS Fifth Avenue Division slated for December 15.

As he put it, “The good thing is that she’s a stallion stakes horse and there’s a $500,000 race coming up going seven-eighths, which I think she’ll handle.”

Big Q was bred by Golden Goose Enterprises and foaled at Dutchess Views Farm in Pine Plains. She is the first winner for her dam Gaby Q, a winning Kentucky-bred daughter of Forestry who last changed hands at public auction when purchased for $30,000 by Global Bloodstock Management at the 2015 Keeneland January sale. She has also produced a full brother to Big Q named Right On Q and a weanling filly by Desert Party.

Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown stands for Irish Hill and Dutchess Views Stallions in Stillwater for a 2020 stud fee of $5,000.

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