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Friday, October 25, 2002
Contact: Notes Team (847) 385-7472/7473
$1 million Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade I)
Appleby Gardens -- The 2yo daughter of A.P. Indy galloped 1 ¼ miles at Arlington Friday, and trainer Todd Pletcher said she handled the off track well.
Pletcher acknowledged that he is asking a lot of Appleby Gardens by running her in the Juvenile Fillies since she is winless in three starts, all of them stakes and two of them Grade Is. But he also is confident she will acquit herself well.
"She's always trained well and she's bred well," he said. "In order for her to win it would be a major upset, but she is impressively bred for the trip. Anything on the board we'd be tickled with."
Atlantic Ocean -- There are not many options for this daughter of Stormy Atlantic, who is listed at 20-1 on the morning line. She figures to be involved in the early pace, as she will break from post 9.
"She has the same problem that all of them will have, and that's the distance," trainer Bob Baffert said. "She is fast, but I figure there is going to be a lot of stuff going on early in the race. It is going to come down to who has the class to be able to get the distance at this time of year. I think only a few have a real chance, the others are going to be strung out, believe me."
Buffythecenterfold -- The two-time stakes-winning daughter of Capote galloped 1 1/8 miles Friday over the wet Arlington Park main track, capped off with a quarter-mile "open gallop" through the stretch.
Trainer Mel Stute expressed enthusiasm for the exercise, saying it appeared she handled the track in good shape. Stute is hopeful the filly, who usually runs on or near the lead, will be able to carry her speed 1 1/8 miles in the Juvenile Fillies, and give him his second championship in that race.
Stute won with Brave Raj in the 1986 Juvenile Fillies, the same year sire Capote won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.
Buffythecenterfold will wind up her training for Saturday's race by schooling in the paddock Friday afternoon before the third race, and jogging once around the oval Saturday morning.
Composure -- The increased distance of the Juvenile Fillies to nine furlongs may pose a problem to some, but jockey Mike Smith believes it will be an advantage to Composure.
"Her first time around two turns going a mile and a sixteenth last time was a big race," Smith said of her three-length victory in Santa Anita's Oak Leaf on Oct. 6. "Since then, she's only gotten better. She has really figured things out."
Composure has distance in her pedigree. Her sire, Touch Gold, won the 1997 Belmont Stakes, ruining Silver Charm's bid to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner.
Humorous Lady -- Classic Star LLC's Humorous Lady galloped once around the Arlington Park oval under exercise rider Miguel Gutierrez Friday morning.
Alex Solis will pilot the once-beaten daughter of Distorted Humor in the Juvenile Fillies. Humorous Lady arrived at Arlington Park on Thursday afternoon from Belmont Park, where she had stayed since winning the Astarita on Oct. 13.
Trainer Michael Smith was asked what it would take for Humorous Lady to prevail Saturday.
"If she will relax, we've got a good shot," said Smith, who will be saddling his first Breeders' Cup starter. "If she doesn't relax, we would not have a good shot."
The prospect of an off track, at least early in the Breeders' Cup program Saturday, did not bother Smith.
"That would be fine with me because she just won the Astarita in the mud," Smith said. "At least we know she can handle it."
Ruby's Reception -- With trainer Larry Jones aboard, the Rubiano filly went to the main track for a 1 ¼-mile jog and 1 ½-mile gallop, while Jones' wife and assistant Cindy waited back at the barn and readied the filly's stall.
"We couldn't be happier with how she's doing," said Cindy Jones. "She eaten everything we've given her this week. She really had her game face on today and was biting everything in sight. She only gets aggressive when it's race time."
"She knows why she's here," added Larry Jones upon his arrival from the track. "I took her to the training track yesterday to keep her humble. She knew this morning when I took her over a sloppy track that something important was coming. I normally wouldn't have taken her to the track."
Santa Catarina -- She has a distinctive star on her forehead, one that, depending on your imagination, resembles either an arrowhead or a flame. But it requires little imagination to see her as a serious threat to morning-line favorite Storm Flag Flying in the Juvenile Fillies.
A daughter of 1990 Classic winner Unbridled, Santa Catarina is a filly that may benefit from the increased distance of the Juvenile Fillies from a 1 1/16 miles to 1 1/8 miles.
"We've always liked Santa Catarina," said trainer Bob Baffert. "She reminds me a lot of Silverbulletday (1998 Juvenile Fillies winner). There is a toughness about her. In the Del Mar Debutante she only got beat a neck after she had to fight for room and got dirt in her face. She drew the rail, but she likes to lug in anyway, so she will already be there."
Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey has the mount.
Sea Jewel -- The daughter of Sea Hero took to the main track's wet surface like her pedigree indicates, according to Felipe Morales, an assistant to trainer John Shirreffs who looks after Sea Jewel.
The juvenile filly jogged around the 1 1/8-mile main track as she headed toward her third graded stakes opportunity. She's winless in her two previous encounters, but Shirreffs is hopeful the addition of blinkers will help her focus on her business.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, the filly's regular rider, suggested that the blinkers be tried.
In her most recent outing, Sea Jewel finished third to Composure and Buffythecenterfold in the Oak Leaf Stakes and earned a run in the Juvenile Fillies, where she'll meet those two again.
Storm Flag Flying -- It was an uneventful plane trip that brought the morning-line favorite for the Juvenile Fillies from Belmont Park to Arlington Park on Thursday afternoon. Trainer Shug McGaughey hopes that is the recurring theme for the weekend.
Her race record and her pedigree suggests that Storm Flag Flying will have no problem on Saturday afternoon. She should be able to handle the distance, and she has proven herself capable of handling the competition.
The only question that remains is: will she behave herself?
The daughter of Strom Cat out of 1995 Juvenile Fillies winner My Flag has had a history of "freezing" on her way to the races. It hasn't affected her races, however, as she brings a perfect 3-for-3 mark into the Juvenile Fillies.
"I schooled her in the paddock this morning, and everything went fine," McGaughey said. "I don't expect her to have any problems. As for the distance, I mean, she is bred to go long and I really don't think she'll mind an off track. I hope it clears up here and that it is a fair track for everybody, but even though my filly has never run on an off track, I don't think it will bother her."
My Flag won the Juvenile Fillies over a muddy track at Belmont Park in 1995, and My Flag's dam, the undefeated Personal Ensign, won the 1988 Distaff at Churchill Downs with a stirring come-from-behind nose victory over Winning Colors on a muddy track.
Westerly Breeze -- The Alcibiades winner arrived safely from Louisville early Thursday afternoon and walked the shedrow of Carl Nafzger's barn on Friday.
"She doesn't need to go to the track," said Nafzger of his filly, who has already raced twice before at Arlington. "We're all set."
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Thursday, October 24, 2002
Contact: Notes Team (847) 385-7472/7473
$1 million Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade I)
Appleby Gardens -- The 50-1 outsider jogged two miles Thursday at Arlington Park, and trainer Todd Pletcher said she seemed to handle the track fine.
"They had it sealed and it was wet."
The filly drew the No. 10 post and Pletcher said it "is not perfect. Hopefully she'll be able to tuck in and then make a move."
Atlantic Ocean/Composure/Santa Catarina -- Of his threesome for the Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, trainer Bob Baffert has talked most of Santa Catarina, Bob and Beverly Lewis' Unbridled filly who is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line behind even-money favorite Storm Flag Flying.
"She reminded us of Silverbulletday from the start," Baffert said. "I think she is eligible to improve off her last start."
That last start was a second-place finish to Storm Flag Flying in Belmont's Frizette on Oct. 5. It was her first start since a neck loss in the Del Mar Debutante on Aug. 31.
"Storm Flag Flying is good," Baffert said. "But Santa Catarina was second-best in the Frizette off a layoff, and was second to the best filly in her division and got a little tired. She can definitely move forward off that race."
Santa Catarina has drawn post 1 with Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, while Atlantic Ocean will break from post 9 with Victor Espinoza and Composure will break from post 3 with Mike Smith.
"Santa Catarina likes to lug in during her works, so she'll be down there on the rail to begin with," Baffert said. "Storm Flag Flying is the horse to beat, but this is two turns and a mile and an eighth. There's going to be a lot of stuff happening up front, but it's going to be class that determines who wins this."
Buffythecenterfold -- Trainer Mel Stute was pleased with a 1 ½-mile gallop for his 2yo daughter of Capote as she moved one day closer to a run in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
"She's doing very well so far," said Stute, who is seeking his third championship day victory. He saddled Brave Raj and Very Subtle to win the 1986 Juvenile Fillies and 1987 Sprint, respectively.
The Southern California-based trainer said the filly will do the same thing on Friday, adding that he might ask the exercise rider to pick up the pace a bit coming down the stretch.
She will start from post position 8 Saturday under morning-line odds of 12-1.
Humorous Lady -- Astarita winner Humorous Lady arrived at Arlington Park from New York Thursday afternoon.
A winner of four of five career starts, Humorous Lady is listed at 20-1 on the morning line and will break from post position 5 under Alex Solis.
Ivanavinalot -- Trainer Kathleen O'Connell reported Thursday morning that 2yo filly Ivanavinalot will not make the trip to Arlington Park for the Juvenile Fillies and has been declared.
"She did not eat up yesterday (Wednesday) and she never misses an oat," said O'Connell. "That's not like her so we took some blood (for testing) just to be sure. Two labs confirmed that she has a high white blood cell count. We just can't send her to this race if she isn't 110 percent. It's disappointing to get this close and not be able to make it. She will be OK, though."
The Juvenile Fillies would have been O'Connell's first Breeders' Cup starter. She experienced similar poor luck in 1997 when her trainee Blazing Sword, who was preparing for the Florida Derby and a possible Triple Crown campaign, fell seriously ill after finishing second in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Ruby's Reception -- The Kentucky Cup Juvenile and Alcibiades runner-up galloped one mile over Arlington's training track under trainer Larry Jones on Thursday. The Rubiano filly will return to the main track on Friday and will have one more schooling session in the paddock before Saturday's race.
Purchased for $12,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale, Ruby's Reception has been a "dream come true" for the five owners that make up Oasis Racing Stable. They have even turned down offers to purchase her, including one for $125,000 following her third-place finish in the Prairie Meadows Gold Juvenile against colts in her second out.
"We've had offers to sell, but this is why we are in the game," said part-owner Randy Sellers, of Henderson, Ky. "This is where you want to be: the Breeders' Cup. She's been a dream for all of us.
"Most trainers go to the sales and buy the ones that look best on papers. Larry goes around and finds the jewels hidden in the corner. We think he's found a jewel with this one."
Oasis Racing formed four years ago when the group claimed a Rubiano horse named Write It Down at Turfway Park, which didn't make any money for the partnership, but who Jones credits for the success of Ruby's Reception.
"He didn't win a lot for us, but what I learned from him, I've applied to Ruby," said Jones. "Rubianos seem to be slight horses that don't need a lot of training. That's why I haven't worked her since the Alcibiades. I also didn't work her before the Kentucky Cup race. She gets plenty fit carrying my 190 pounds around."
Sea Jewel -- The 2yo daughter of Sea Hero galloped 1 ¼ miles Thursday morning at Arlington Park as she opened her second day at the track. Regular exercise rider Juventino Mendoza was up for exercise.
The filly, which has only a maiden victory under her belt, will race with blinkers for the first time in the Juvenile Fillies. Felipe Rivera, another assistant to John Shirreffs, said, "This is a happy filly. Nothing bothers her."
Trainer Shirreffs is expected to arrive late Thursday on a flight from his Southern California base.
Storm Flag Flying -- The even-money, morning line favorite for the Juvenile Fillies was en route to Arlington Park on Thursday morning from Belmont Park in New York. She arrived shortly before 1 p.m. (CT).
Trainer Shug McGaughey, flying separately on a commercial airline, was expected this evening. Assistant trainer Earl "Buzz" Tenney was traveling with Storm Flag Flying. Pam York prepared the stall for her arrival.
Westerly Breeze -- The Alcibiades winner galloped lightly at her Churchill Downs base on Thursday and then loaded a van to Arlington, which was expected to arrive at 2:00 p.m., according assistant trainer Ian Wilkes.
When asked how the Gone West filly compared to another Breeze filly he once trained -- champion Banshee Breeze -- trainer Carl Nafzger, who has been at Arlington all week, replied: "It would be unfair to both fillies to compare them. Horses like Banshee Breeze just don't come around that often. Horses like her and Unbridled are once in a lifetime horses.
"This filly is a good filly and seems to be improving with each race."
Westerly Breeze began her four-race career at Arlington with a fourth and a win. Prior to the Alcibiades, she finished fourth behind fellow Breeders' Cup competitors, Atlantic Ocean and Ruby's Reception in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile.
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Monday and Tuesday notes
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