by TERESA GENARO
Heading into the Frizette (G1) at Belmont Park, the talk was all about Covfefe, the two-year-old filly owned by LNJ Foxwoods and named not long after President Trump tweeted the word that left even autocorrect at a loss.
But it was another filly that walked the walk, right into a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), courtesy of the $400,000 “Win and You’re In” Frizette.
Under Joel Rosario, Jaywalk rode the rail to the lead after breaking from post 2, with odds-on favorite Covfefe right behind her up the backstretch of the one-mile race through fractions of :22.63 and :45.65. Coming around the turn, Covfefe looked as though she would get to Jaywalk, but every time Covfefe got close, Jaywalk extended herself, eventually hitting the wire 5 3/4 lengths in front of runner-up Brucia La Terra. After covering the mile in 1:34.57, she paid $15.20 to win.
“I thought there was a lot of speed on paper,” said Rosario, “and then [trainer] John [Servis] told me just let her break and let her run however she wanted. I just let her go ahead and be happy and she really handled it.”
Cassies Dreamer was third, while Covfefe faded to fourth. Both Brucia La Terra and Cassies Dreamer are trained by Barclay Tagg.
The Frizette was also a scoring race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, offering points to the top four on the 10-4-2-1 scale.
Trainer John Servis bought Jaywalk on behalf of owners Leonard C. Green and Cash Is King Stable, going to $190,000 for the daughter of Cross Traffic at last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale.
“She was gorgeous,” said Servis. “She had a beautiful head on her, and she’s a strawberry roan, so that’s kind of striking. She was so feminine, but when we got her, she was all leggy. She had a huge walk on her. I fell in love with her as soon as I looked at her.”
“She’s got a great mind,” said Lois Green, Leonard’s wife.
Servis has bought several Cross Traffic offspring, admitting that on this one, he had to go a little higher than he expected to get her.
“When we get down to our AAA horses and we know they’re going to be higher than the budget, we call Chuck,” said Leonard Green, referring to Chuck Zacney of Cash Is King Stables.
Jaywalk is a half-sister to Grade 3-placed multiple stakes victress Danzatrice. The winner of the 2015 Parx Oaks, 2016 Tiffany Lass, and 2017 Iowa Distaff, she was third in last summer’s Groupie Doll (G3) at Ellis Park.
Jaywalk broke her maiden at Parx in July by 7 1/2 lengths, leading from gate to wire; last out at Delaware Park, she stalked from fourth to win the White Clay Creek S. by 1 1/2 lengths.
“I was handicapping the race and said to John, ‘It looks like there are about four horses with speed in the race,’” said Green. “He said, ‘No, we’re the speed.’
“’I said, ‘Those four horses can go 22.45.’ He said, ‘We can go 22.45.’
“’And keep going?’” Green retorted.
He shrugged. “That’s why he’s the trainer.”
Leonard and Lois have owned horses for nearly 40 years; they currently own about 100, and despite their longevity in the sport and their many travels to see their horses run, they’ve never won a Breeders’ Cup race.
“It’s a wonderful game,” said Leonard.
Also sold last year at the Keeneland yearling sale was a dark bay colt purchased by Centennial Farms. His name? Jaywalker.
“Our son Jonathan came up with the name,” said Lois. “He was concerned that it might already have been taken, but it came through, and she came through.”
That she did, making a Grade 1 race look like no more than a walk in the park.