By Jarrod Horak
I have been eagerly awaiting the reappearance of 3-year-old filly champ Nest, and it was great to hear that she is expected to make her first start of 2023 in the Grade 2, $200,000 Shuvee Stakes at Saratoga on July 23.
Todd Pletcher’s filly had an outstanding sophomore campaign last year and I picked her on top numerous times. After ending her juvenile campaign with a victory in the Grade 2 Demoiselle, she rattled off back-to-back stakes victories in the listed Suncoast and Grade 1 Ashland. She was second best in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1), and got on a serious roll with wins in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), Alabama (G1), and Beldame (G2). Her final start last year came in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and her talented older stablemate Malathaat rallied for the win by a desperate nose over Blue Stripe and Clairiere. Nest made a premature wide move before weakening in the lane and ended up fourth as the beaten favorite.
Nest had a fever in Florida earlier this year and got behind schedule because the elevated temperature stuck around for a couple of weeks. She breezed once at Palm Beach Downs on April 15. She shipped to New York in May and her last eight moves have been at Belmont Park. She worked her way up to five panels on June 17 (1:00.20), June 24 (1:02.55), and June 30 (1:01.22), and two of those three breezes were bullets.
If everything goes well for Nest in her seasonal bow in the Shuvee, she is expected to run again at Saratoga in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on Aug. 25. Her year-end goal is the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park in November.