'I Don't Like Backing Down From A Challenge': Lady Speightspeare Faces Males For Final Start In Pegasus Turf - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

‘I Don’t Like Backing Down From A Challenge’: Lady Speightspeare Faces Males For Final Start In Pegasus Turf

Lady Speightspeare wins the G3 Seaway at Woodbine

Before going off to join owner-breeder Charles Fipke's broodmare band, Grade 1-winning mare Lady Speightspeare will take on one last challenge when she faces males for the first time in Saturday's $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) Invitational presented by Qatar Racing.

Trained by Roger Attfield, who Fipke joined in Canada's Hall of Fame last year, Lady Speightspeare has seven wins, six in graded-stakes, and $761,145 in purse earnings from 13 lifetime starts dating back to 2020, when she earned the Sovereign Award as Canada's champion 2-year-old filly.

“You just have to go for it, you know? The fillies race against the males in Europe quite a bit, and fillies can run, too,” Fipke said. “It's her last race and even if she just places it'll be good. She's a group 1 winner already and she was a champion. She's a pretty awesome filly.”

Lady Speightspeare won the Natalma (G1) on turf in her second career start and made just three starts in 2021, winning twice including the Bessarabian (G2) on all-weather, both at Woodbine, where she raced primarily. In her lone prior attempt at Gulfstream, she was third as the favorite in the 2021 Tropical Park Oaks.

Last year, Lady Speightspeare won three of eight races, taking the Nassau (G2), Trillium (G3) and Seaway (G3) in succession at Woodbine heading into the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), where she was third at odds of 32-1, beaten 1 ½ lengths by European invader Tuesday.

Lady Speightspeare was the initial invitation lists for both the Pegasus Turf and $500,000 TAA Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3) Invitational presented by Pepsi.

“I don't like backing down from a challenge,” Fipke said. “It would be great if she won against the boys.”

Lady Speightspeare is already booked to Gun Runner, the champion older dirt male and Horse of the Year in 2017 who capped his career with a victory in the 2018 Pegasus World Cup (G1), then the world's richest horse race valued at $16 million.

“He's an outstanding stallion. I'm kind of keen on that. If you keep her running, sure, you might make a bit more money, but you might not. She doesn't owe us anything. I'm into the breeding so I'm pretty excited about her broodmare career,” Fipke said. “It is [bittersweet] but what can you say, she's done really well.”

Luis Saez is named to ride Lady Speightspeare, rated third on the morning line at odds of 6-1, from Post 6.

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