The first significant upset of the 2023 Breeders’ Cup didn’t take long to occur on Friday at Santa Anita, when Just F Y I sent odds-on favorite Tamara packing in the $1.84 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) over 1 1/16 miles.
Although saddled with post 12 in the 1 1/16-mile race, Just F Y I broke very sharp and quickly crossed over to gain prime stalking position behind Tamara entering the clubhouse turn. Ridden by Junior Alvarado, Just F Y I was never more than a 1 1/2 lengths behind Tamara, who cut out a solid pace of :22.47, :46.60, and 1:10.95.
Approaching the turn for home, Just F Y I appeared to be going the better of a tiring Tamara. Seizing the lead in upper stretch, Just F Y I opened up through the stretch but only lasted at the wire by a neck over 17-1 longshot Jody’s Pride. Second choice Candied was a half-length farther back in third.
“We had a great trip and she came into the race in great order and she showed us what she could do,” winning trainer Bill Mott said.
The order of finish was rounded by Scalable, Brightwork, Tamara, Where’s My Ring, Chatalas, Accommodate Eva, Esprit Enchante, and Omaha Girl.
“She went into the far turn, but her energy level just wasn’t there today,” said jockey Mike Smith regarding Tamara, a daughter of four-time champion mare Beholder. “When I did pull up she did make a little noise. So they’re going to scope her to make sure her airways are clear.”
A homebred campaigned by George Krikorian, Just F Y I covered the course in 1:44.58 over a fast track. She paid $16 as the third choice.
Just F Y I, who undoubtedly clinched champion two-year-old filly honors with the victory, ends her season campaign with a 3-for-3 mark. A debut winner by a head at Saratoga going six furlongs on Aug. 26, Just F Y I followed up with a 3 3/4-length score in the Frizette (G1) at Aqueduct in early October, a race contested over one mile on a sloppy track.
Just F Y I earned 30 qualifying points toward the 2024 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and now has 40. Jody’s Pride earned 15 points, Candied boosted her total from 10 to 19, Scalable increased her total from five to 11, and Brightwork saw her point total rise from one to four.
From the second crop of Triple Crown winner Justify, who was also represented later on Friday’s card by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) heroine Hard to Justify, Just F Y I has now bankrolled $1,317,750.
A Kentucky-bred, Just F Y I was produced by the stakes-placed Star Act, a daughter of Street Cry and the multiple Grade 1-winning Starrer.