Simply Ravishing leads off NY-bred 1-2 punch at Breeders’ Cup

Friday, November 6th, 2020

Simply Ravishing, who joins fellow New York-bred Tiz the Law at this year’s Breeders’ Cup, is a major player in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies. Breeders’ Cup/Eclipse Sportswire Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

After starting her career on the turf over the summer at Saratoga, Simply Ravishing turned heads with a 6 1/2-length victory in the off-the-turf P.G. Johnson Stakes in September. A month later the daughter of Laoban left everyone impressed with a 6 1/4-length all-the-way romp in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes to punch her ticket to Friday’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

The New York-bred Simply Ravishing was the product of breeder Meg Levy sending a mare she’d purchased for just $500 to Laoban in what has turned out to be an inspired move. Foaled at Stonegate Stables in Fort Edward, the filly has won her first three starts by a combined 13 3/4 lengths and comes into the Juvenile Fillies unbeaten on dual surfaces.

Those victories have helped make her the 5-2 co-second choice, along with fellow unbeaten Dayoutoftheoffice, in the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile Fillies behind the 9-5 undefeated favorite Princess Noor. Simply Ravishing is one of two New York-breds competing at the World Championships, along with Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes winner Tiz the Law, who runs in Saturday’s $6 million Classic.

Proving that New York is a great place to start a stallion’s career, she’s one of three runners by the former leading New York freshman sire Laoban entered on the opening Future Stars Friday card at Keeneland that opens the Breeders’ Cup.

Simply Ravishing breezed an easy 5 furlongs in 1:00 last Saturday at her home base of Churchill Downs before shipping to Keeneland Sunday. Trainer Ken McPeek likes how she’s come into the $2 million Juvenile Fillies and admits she can be a bit harder to ride on days where she’s not out for timed works.

“She’s another really talented filly,” McPeek said. “Robby (Albarado) worked her for me over at Churchill. She came over Sunday and has had good gallops here. She’s a tough filly to gallop. She likes to put her head down and really pull. But she’s doing really good.”

Simply Ravishing and jockey Luis Saez face six others in the Juvenile Fillies and she doesn’t look to be the guaranteed lone speed that she was in the Alcibiades. However, Simply Ravishing showed the ability to race behind rivals early in both her 1 1/16-mile turf maiden win at Saratoga and the P.G. Johnson shortening up to 7 furlongs.

When she enters the gate Friday, she’ll be the eighth New York-bred to run in the Juvenile Fillies. Others from the state to run in the race are Artemis Agrotera, Cadillac Women, Doremifasollatido, Miss Iron Smoke, Shesastonecoldfox, Weemissfrankie and Wonder Gal with three of the starters finishing third.

While it won’t be an easy race, if her dam’s name – Four Wishes – is any indication, she has a bit of destiny on her side at Keeneland. And like Levy pointed out earlier this year, the sport is made on hopes and wishes.

“It’s so great, that little mare I bought for 500 bucks,” she said. “I remember because it was my birthday. I was going to the Fasig February sale and somebody called me about this More Than Ready mare. We bred her to Laoban, we had a breeding right because Mike (Levy, Meg Levy’s husband) did the stallion deal. I’m excited about her. She’s a beautiful horse. Hey, even the little guys can hope and wish. Fingers crossed.”

Simply Ravishing was conceived when Laoban stood at Sequel Stallions in Hudson. Laoban recently relocated to just down the road from Keeneland Race Course at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., where he’ll take up stud duties in 2021.

Leave a Reply