LEXINGTON, Ky. – Goodnight Olive proved too fast for rivals in Saturday’s $920,000 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Keeneland, rallying from just off the pace to a 2 1/2-length decision. The four-year-old filly stretched her win streak to six, her only setback being a runner-up in her career debut, and every win has come by a convincing margin.
Irad Ortiz Jr. was up for Chad Brown and owners First Row Partners and Team Hanley. Brown and Ortiz have now won 16 Breeders’ Cup races apiece.
“What a wonderful trip,” Brown said. “Once again Irad showed everyone his immense skill. He got a good position early and was patient. Looked like it got a little tight right before the final turn, but he waited until the right time to get her in the clear.”
Favored at 1.85-1 over 11 rivals, Goodnight Olive broke forwardly and settled a couple of lengths back as Slammed established opening fractions in :22.10 and :44.89 from the inside. When Ortiz angled his mount toward the outside on the far turn, Goodnight Olive began to steadily advance upon rivals, and she struck the front turning for home.
The dark bay filly quickly drew clear in upper stretch and was never threatened to the wire, rolling home much the best.
“Lot of speed in the race,” Ortiz said. “She broke on top, but I didn’t want to rush her. When she’s on her game, she can do anything. I’ve ridden her and I knew that. I just took my time. I was able to get her out at the top of the stretch and the rest was all her.”
Goodnight Olive completed the seven-furlong distance in 1:21.61.
Echo Zulu, last year’s champion two-year-old filly, wound up second at 7-2. Wicked Halo was another length back in third, 1 1/2 lengths better than 2021 Filly & Mare Sprint winner Ce Ce. Obligatory, Chi Town Lady, Edgeway, Lady Rocket, Sterling Silver, Chain of Love, Frank’s Rockette, and Slammed completed the order of finish.
Goodnight Olive was exiting an impressive 2 3/4-length win in her stakes bow, the Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 28. After breaking maiden at Keeneland in October 2021, she completed her sophomore campaign with a smart allowance tally at Aqueduct. Goodnight Olive opened this year with a romping allowance win at Belmont, and she easily captured another allowance at Saratoga prior to the Ballerina.
“She symbolizes everything that’s good in horse racing,” Brown said. “Being patient, always putting the horse first, bringing together a lot of different people that some didn’t even know each other before they went in on this horse together and large ownership group that is worthy of this win with their patience. A lot (of) memories made today.”
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Farms, Goodnight Olive will become the second champion female sprinter by Ghostzapper, who also produced 2014 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Judy the Beauty.
“She’s a lot like (Ghostzapper),” Brown said. “It makes you feel a little old I worked a lot with Ghostzapper with (trainer) Bobby (Frankel) and I always think of him on these big days; everything he taught me. She’s a lot of her Dad – tough as nails and might not run a lot but when she does, she lets everyone know when she does.”
Goodnight Olive sold for $170,000 as a 2019 Fasig-Tipton October yearling, and she’s the first stakes winner from the multiple Grade 3-winning mare Salty Strike, a daughter of Smart Strike.