From the Paulick Report:
Goodnight Olive left zero doubt about who the dominant mare is in the one-turn division with a visually impressive dusting of the PNC Bank Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on Saturday at Santa Anita Park, giving her a second career victory in the race in what will likely be her final career start.
The 5-year-old Ghostzapper mare broke alertly from the inside post, and settled in a rail position while Society and Eda battled for the early lead. Those two sprinted through the backstretch through an opening quarter-mile in :22.29 seconds, with Goodnight Olive and Yuugiri in the second flight, about a length and a half behind the leaders.
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. began to move Goodnight Olive off the rail heading into the turn of the seven-furlong race, and hit the slot between Society and Yuugiri to join the lead pack nearing the top of the stretch. As Eda faded on the rail, Goodnight Olive engaged with Society, and gained the advantage at the three-sixteenths pole.
Ortiz angled Goodnight Olive in toward the rail, which led jockey Tyler Gaffalione to check slightly aboard Society. While Society lost momentum, Goodnight Olive drew away in the final furlong, and was put under a hand ride as the finish line approached. Goodnight Olive crossed under the wire 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Yuugiri, who was a length ahead of longshot Three Witches.
“She was there for me every time I asked,” Ortiz said. “She gives me confidence. I knew I was on the best horse. She did it again.”
Goodnight Olive completed the race in 1:22.97 over a fast main track, paying $4.20 to win as a heavy favorite.
She became the second two-time winner of the Filly and Mare Sprint, following in the footsteps of champion Groupie Doll, who won the race in 2012 and 2013. Goodnight Olive won last year’s Filly and Mare Sprint at Keeneland by 2 1/2 lengths to secure the Eclipse Award as champion female sprinter.
With the victory on Saturday, Goodnight Olive improved her lifetime record to nine wins from 12 starts for earnings of $2,196,200. It was her fourth Grade 1 victory.
Trainer Chad Brown saddled the horse for owners First Row Partners and Team Hanley. It was the 17th Breeders’ Cup victory for Brown, and his third in the Filly and Mare Sprint, joining Goodnight Olive last year and Wavell Avenue in 2015.
“It’s very satisfying,” Brown said. “She trained perfect her last two works. Really beautifully. When she broke good and got behind Society, which I was really happy to see because we knew she was the second choice in the race and really fit on paper. If we could find her, she was going to take us at least to the quarter-pole. And I said to Irad (Ortiz Jr.), it’s likely that other horses will be tired around you at that point and when she got outside of her, she was able to put the race to bed. Rarely does ‘Plan A’ go into effect and actually finish all the way through. That was our plan and Irad executed it perfectly.”
For Ortiz, Goodnight Olive provided the jockey his 17th Breeders’ Cup victory, and his fourth in the Filly and Mare Sprint. In addition to Goodnight Olive’s win last year, Ortiz also triumphed aboard Bar of Gold in 2017 and Shamrock Rose in 2018.
It was a victorious sendoff for Goodnight Olive, who will be offered Tuesday, Nov. 7 at the Fasig-TiptonNovember Sale. Though she will go through the ring as a racing or broodmare prospect, it is expected that she will be retired to begin her broodmare career with her new owner in 2024.
Goodnight Olive was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, out of the multiple Grade 3-winning Smart Strike mare Salty Strike. She sold to First Row Partners for $170,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearling Sale. Summerfield consigned Goodnight Olive, as agent.