BigDaddy News

Horse Racing News

Idiomatic Has All Answers in Dominating Spinster Score

Idiomatic wasn’t much on drama Oct. 8 at Keeneland as the massive Curlin   filly turned the grade 1 Spinster Stakes into a one-horse showcase.

After breaking well under Florent Geroux in a field of six that included last year’s champion 3-year-old filly Nest , Juddmonte homebred Idiomatic quickly seized the lead and maintained a clear advantage throughout on her way to a 4 1/4-length victory in the $580,250 Spinster, Keeneland’s showcase fall race for fillies and mares. The even-money second-choice returned $4.12 to win.

Garrett O’Rourke, general manager of Juddmonte USA, didn’t find much time to be nervous during the 1 1/8-mile test that Idiomatic completed in 1:49.84 on a fast track. He was able to save his voice for another day.

Watch: Electric Opening Weekend at Keeneland Fall

“I never cheered for her once after I saw Nest breaking badly and trying to come up the inside,” O’Rourke said. “At that stage I was thinking we’ve beaten a lot of these other fillies before and then I looked up and saw (:48.31)…and she was able to get a breather around the three-eighths and then she just opened up again.”

Sign up for

The victory gave trainer Brad Cox, a Louisville, Ky., native, his first victory in the Spinster. 

“It’s very special, and I want to thank (owner Fahad bin Khalid) and his family and obviously the Juddmonte team here in America,” Cox said. “This is a big win for this filly; it’s her second grade 1. She’s had a fantastic year. … I’ve run four or five fillies in the past in (the Spinster) and haven’t had much luck, so she was able to break through for us today.”

Winning jockey Geroux guided Idiomatic through a smooth first turn as the 4-year-old raced well within herself through a quarter-mile in :24.49 and a half-mile in :48.31. She led by 1 1/2 lengths through a quarter-mile and that would be the closest any rival would be at any point of call.

“She broke well and put me in a good position,” Geroux said. “I just tried to not mess around and she had plenty left.”

October 8, 2023: Idiomatic (Curlin) leads the field into the stretch for the Grade 1 "Win and You're In" Spinster with jockey Florent Geroux. Idiomatic is owned by Juddmonte.
Photo: Casey Laughter

Idiomatic wins the Spinster Stakes at Keeneland

Idiomatic was followed home by runner-up Le Da Vida , who earned a placing in a United States grade 1 race for the first time; and third-place Bellamore , who earned a grade 1-placing for a second time. Le Da Vida is campaigned by Masaiva and Bellamore is campaigned by Kaleem Shah.

Favored Nest broke last, couldn’t get going after trying a number of paths, and failed to bid late. After the race jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. summed up the fourth-place effort with two words, “no excuses.”

With the win, Idiomatic extends her victory streak to four races, all graded stakes, including back-to-back grade 1 wins as she entered off a four-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile Personal Ensign Stakes Aug. 25 on a sloppy track at Saratoga Race Course.

With Sunday’s win, Idiomatic earns a fees-paid start in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park as the Spinster is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race. Cox, who said Idiomatic might be the biggest horse he’s ever trained—he measured her at 17.2 hands—said he’ll go into the Distaff (G1) with a good amount of confidence.

“We’re obviously tremendously excited about how well she’s doing, Cox said. “Hopefully she can do it for one more.”


Idiomatic is the first starter for the stakes-winning First Defence  mare Lockdown , a full sister to 2014 champion older mare and multiple grade 1 winner Close Hatches . Lockdown, who finished third in the 2017 Kentucky Oaks (G1), also has an unraced 3-year-old Medaglia d’Oro   filly and an Into Mischief   yearling filly.

O’Rourke noted how the breeding came up big while also mentioning that it’s always a humbling pursuit.

“Well, there’s an oddity about that,” O’Rourke said of sending Lockdown to Curlin. “We bred two really top mares to Curlin that year. One of them turned out to be Idiomatic and the other one is not very good. So we made the right decision on one and obviously made the wrong decision on the other. 

“But obviously when you’re talking about a dam who is placed in the Kentucky Oaks and is a full sister to Close Hatches that we’re trying to breed classic horses. Curlin is absolutely at the moment the top dirt classic horse out there—going a distance. She’s exactly what you’d want to get from that kind of a mating.”

Idiomatic entered the day as one of five grade 1 winners this season for Curlin, a group that also includes Bright Future , Elite Power , Cody’s Wish , and Clairiere . Curlin stood the 2023 season for $225,000 at Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa near Paris, Ky.

Video: Juddmonte Spinster S. (G1)

Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video

Want To Earn From Skills ?

Bonus On New ID