Blessed with brilliant speed, Waquoit looked like a natural sprinter or miler in his first two seasons of competition. In 1987, however, the highly acclaimed Broad Brush came to town for the 1 1/8-mile Massachusetts Handicap, expecting to find easy pickings, and Waquoit outdueled him to win by a nose. The hometown hero had shown he was ready for the big time.
Thrust into the upper echelon of the thoroughbred sport, [Joseph Federico] sometimes makes people think he is out of his element, for he doesn't know or care much about the national racing scene. Boston newspapermen (who cover Waquoit as diligently as they do Michael Dukakis) remember that before the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga, the trainer said he was debating whether to run in "the Whatley."
If that prospect saddens Federico, he doesn't show it, even though after Saturday his stable will consist of five claiming horses at Suffolk Downs. He is grateful for the chance to have lived out this fantasy for the last four years. "Waquoit has changed my life," he said. "But I've had so many bad horses before that it won't bother me to go back."
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