Miss J McKay pointed to Breeders’ Cup
Miss J McKay won at first asking at Laurel Park and is now Breeders’ Cup-bound. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
The owners of Laurel Park stakes winner Miss J McKay, first to the wire in each of her three starts, will be pre-entered Wednesday in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1), to be run Friday, Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.
Trainer Cal Lynch said Sidney Karmia’s Maxis Stable, Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stable and Marc and Joe Lore of Wonder Stables decided to pay the six-figure fee to supplement Miss J McKay, who was not originally nominated to the Breeders’ Cup.
Miss J McKay was a dominant five-length winner of the $100,000 Anne Arundel County Stakes Sept. 28 over Laurel’s world-class turf course and was conspicuous by her absence in Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Million Lassie, where she would have one of the favorites in the six-furlong dirt sprint.
“The guys were willing to put up the $100,000 to supplement her, and we’re delighted to take the ride with her,” Lynch said. “All three of [the owners] are sportsmen and they want to be on the biggest stage in the world, and that’s that day.”
Bred in Maryland by Linda Oliff Rohleder, Miss J McKay is named for Jim McKay, the late Hall of Fame and 13-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster who founded the groundbreaking Maryland Million, first run in 1986. She is a bay daughter of Hangover Kid out of the Street Boss mare Ballykiss. She was Hangover Kid’s first winner.
Miss J McKay debuted with a 5 ½-length waiver maiden romp over Laurel’s main track July 5, then was taken to Monmouth Park for the Aug. 4 Colleen Stakes, contested at five furlongs on the grass. She took the lead at the head of the stretch and bumped a pair of rivals on the way to a three-length win, but was disqualified to third for interference.
“She’s been impressive in her races. In the Colleen she was a little unlucky that she did bump the other horse[s]. There was no question that she did but the way she ran that day, it wasn’t as long a drive home as people might think,” Lynch said. “We were real happy with the way she ran. I think she’s just a really special filly and she’s done nothing wrong so we’re going to give her a shot.”
Other contenders in the Juvenile Turf Sprint include the Wesley Ward-trained pair of undefeated American Pharoah colt Four Wheel Drive, winner of the Futurity (G3) and Rosie’s Stakes in her only two starts, and Munnings filly Kimari, the Bolton Landing and Indian Summer stakes winner that was second in the Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot in June.
“After the last race, her numbers came back and they were very competitive with Four Wheel Drive and Kimari and two or three of the other favorites, so her numbers are right there,” Lynch said. “She can’t be doing any better. She worked really good last week and worked well again this week. She’ll work again Friday and then fly out either Saturday or Sunday.”
The five-furlong Juvenile Turf Sprint will be the Breeders’ Cup debut for the Laurel-based Lynch, a winner of 800 career races including the 2017 Withers (G3) and Jerome (G3) with El Areeb and 2013 General George (G3) at Laurel with Javerre.
“She belongs. If she didn’t belong, she’s not going. I’m not one of those guys that wants to run for the sake of running,” Lynch said. “I don’t want to go there at 30-1, and neither do those guys. They’re competitive and they want to win. We feel like we’re going there with a live filly. Two-year-olds, you never know what can happen.”
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