The thrill of a talented two-year-old horse is something special. The thoughts of future glory makes for excitement, to say the least. When that runner turns in a WOW performance it brings an immeasurable feeling of joy.
Justique was more than a looker in the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar on November 19. Making her third lifetime start, this two-year-old daughter of Justify used a jaw-dropping worst-to-first run to gain an impressive second career win.
Breaking slowly, this John Shirreffs trained granddaughter of Bernardini was a good 10 lengths off a hot early pace (22.04 quarter mile, 45.05 half mile). At the three-eighths pole, this striking filly began to lengthen her stride under jockey Victor Espinoza. Passing horses with ease around the far turn, Justique swung wide at the top of the stretch and unleashed some of her runway model repertoire.
A simple shake of the reins by Victor encouraged this beauty and onlookers lowered their sunglasses to get a good look at an amazing young filly. Prancing past the front runners with ease, the brilliance abounded. Rolling past the wire a widening 2 ¼ lengths in front, this seven-furlong foray spoke volumes about a blossoming talent.
“She has the size to match her stride and is absolutely a beauty”, says Shirreffs. “A muscular hind end creates power and drive and those long legs make her stride rhythmic and flowing. She’s also got a deep heart girth for lung capacity and has a lot of athleticism.”
Impressive appearance and even more impressive performance means there are some exciting times ahead for this filly owned by CRK Stable LLC. A run at the 2023 Kentucky Oaks is the thing that comes to the minds of most. Considering the closing talents of Justique and that WOW run in the Desi Arnaz, dreams can become realities.
“I tell my wife Dottie that WOW is a great thing in horses”, smiles Shirreffs. “Whether you are racing or just working, those WOW performances opens the door to dreaming of possibilities.”