Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Oct. 24-25
$2 million Bessemer Trust
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade I)
1 1/16 Miles
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Be Smart (Tr: D. Wayne Lukas) – Trainer D. Wayne Lukas believes that Be Smart, a daughter of Smarty Jones, may be overlooked in a race in which he has established a great tradition – the $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
“She’s quite high on the morning line (15-1), and I don’t understand that because there are a couple positives,” Lukas said after the filly galloped 1 1/2m Thursday.
“First of all, she went from five-and-a-half furlongs at Saratoga to a mile-and-a-sixteenth on a surface she’d never seen before (Keeneland). That was the first time she’d ever set foot on it; never even galloped on it. The other thing is, Garrett Gomez was lined up on two or three of the other fillies and he elected to stay with her. That’s a good sign.”
It’s hard to argue with the success Lukas has had with these youngsters.
“Most of the horses that I’ve done well in these juvenile races -- and I don’t know how many of them we’ve won (five) -- most of them have done really well in their third or fourth start if you look back,” Lukas said.
“She’s very attractive, but she’s not Winning Colors. We’re changing surfaces again. But she’s talented. If it isn’t going to be Friday, it’s going to be down the road if she stays healthy.”
Black Magic Mama (Tr: Doug O'Neill; ex. rider: Beto Gomez) – The maiden Black Magic Mama galloped 1 1/2m under exercise rider Beto Gomez on Thursday morning.
“We’re excited about her; we think she has a big chance,” said trainer Doug O’Neill of the filly, who finished fourth in the Oak Leaf Stakes from post 10 in her second start for owner J. Paul Reddam.
“Gayle Woods, who works for the Joseph LaCombe stable in Florida, bought her (at an Ocala sale), broke her and sent her to me,” O’Neill said. “She worked a couple of times, and Paul bought her a few weeks before her debut (at Del Mar in August).”
C. S. Silk (Tr: Dale Romans) – Trainer Dale Romans continues to exude confidence in his filly C.S. Silk and was all smiles as he returned from watching her gallop 1 1/2m on Thursday.
“She’s doing great,” Romans said.
Dave's Revenge (Tr: Bob Hess Jr.) – Trainer Bob Hess Jr. expects a solid effort in the Juvenile Fillies from Dave’s Revenge, his one-start 2yo that was purchased as a yearling for $45,000 in the 2007 Keeneland September sale.
“I think she’s improved off her maiden win,” Hess said Thursday morning. “She’s healthy, happy and doing well. We’re hoping for a placing for her.”
The daughter of The Cliff’s Edge, owned by David Rippey, will be ridden by Joel Rosario.
The filly finished her work Thursday for the Juvenile Fillies by jogging 1m, schooling in the gate and galloping 1 1/2m.
Doremifasollatido (Tr: Jimmy Jerkens; ex. rider: Kelvin Pahal) – Exercise rider Kelvin Pahal let Doremifasollatido roll for 2f furlongs in the stretch during a morning gallop Thursday morning.
“She just went slow, like 24-and-change,” said trainer James Jerkens, who had scheduled a little quicker 2f breeze for Filly & Mare Sprint hopeful Zaftig. Doremifasollatido, who captured the Matron at Belmont in her most recent start, will break from post 13 in the Juvenile Fillies.
“There’s not much you can do about it,” said Jerkens, whose filly will be ridden by Eibar Coa. “It’s up to the jock. He’s got to make a decision before he gets to the turn whether to go a little more or to take back a little bit.”
Dream Empress (Tr: Ken McPeek; ex. rider Jessica Oldham) – Dream Empress, winner of Keeneland’s Alcibiades on Oct. 3, made a good first impression on Thursday as she got acquainted with Santa Anita one day after arriving from her Kentucky base.
Owned by Livin the Dream Stable, the daughter of Bernstein jogged 1m, galloped 1 1/2m and then schooled in the paddock.
“She traveled well and was very relaxed this morning,” said assistant Jordan Blair, who is overseeing the filly until the arrival of trainer Ken McPeek on Thursday.
Accompanying Dream Empress on Thursday was exercise rider and aspiring jockey Jessica Oldham, a graduate from the inaugural class of the North American Racing Academy.
Evita Argentina (Tr: John Sadler; ex. rider: Dana Barnes) – Halo Farms and Three Sisters Thoroughbreds’ Evita Argentina galloped 1 1/4m under exercise rider Dana Barnes on Thursday morning.
The John Sadler trainee will break from the rail in the 13-horse field and be ridden by Alex Solis.
Sadler was asked what he would be looking for from Evita Argentina in the Juvenile Fillies.
“I’d like to see her settle and finish,” Sadler said. “She should be running right with Stardom Bound.”
Palacio de Amor (Tr: Myung Kwon Cho; ex. rider: Diego Sotelo) – Palacio de Amor galloped 1m Thursday as she completed her training for the Juvenile Fillies.
Maria Ayala, assistant to owner-trainer Myung Kwon Cho, expressed enthusiasm for the way the daughter of Dixieland Band has been working towards the race.
Jockey Victor Espinoza is just as impressed with her progress.
“I expect her to run a big race,” Espinoza said. “When I worked her Monday (4f in 46 3/5), it was the best work she had put in. She worked unreal.”
As for the race, Espinoza plans to “let her break, get position and take it from there.”
Persistently (Tr: Shug McGaughey) – Persistently galloped 1 1/4m Thursday morning to the satisfaction of trainer Shug McGaughey.
“She had a lot better day today than she has had,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, who had expressed some concern about Persistently’s training. “She didn’t look around too much and she seemed to get over the track. I let her pick it up a little bit to see.
“Since she got out here, she just didn’t seem to be in the game. She was watching the gap some. But today, I think she was a lot better. She got over the track better.”
The daughter of Smoke Glacken, who will be ridden by Alain Garcia, is a late-running filly with great potential, according to her trainer.
“I’m going to be really interested to see her grow up and fill into herself over the winter, because she’s so tall,” McGaughey said. “Hopefully, she’ll be a two-turn (Kentucky) Oaks kind of filly next year. But I’m not throwing out (her chances) here, either.”
Pursuit of Glory (Tr: David Wachman) – Pursuit of Glory, who owns a victory over a synthetic course in Ireland, had a light canter around the main track at Santa Anita Thursday morning.
Trainer David Wachman said he was pleased with the filly’s progress.
“I’m happy with her,” he said. “She seems to act OK on the Pro-Ride surface.”
Pursuit of Glory who was third in the Cheveley Park Stakes on grass last out, made her first two starts over the Polytrack at Dundalk. The daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus, who broke her maiden on Sept. 15, has never been beyond 6f.
“She’s a very adaptable filly,” the conditioner said. “She acts like she wants to go farther.”
Johnny Murtagh again has the mount as Pursuit of Glory and starts from post 11 in the field of 13.
“With a bit of luck, she should have a chance,” Wachman saud. “We’ll see how it works out.”
Sky Diva (Tr: Steve Klesaris) – Trainer Steve Klesaris loves the talent and the mental fortitude that Sky Diva has shown in just two starts. His only concern entering Friday’s race is the filly’s ability to handle Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride synthetic surface as well as she’s performed on dirt.
“She (Sky Diva) has handled the Pro-Ride just fine the last couple of mornings, but again, a race is completely different,” Klesaris reiterated. “This is a very good race, and some of the major players are already proven on the surface. Stardom Bound (likely Juvenile Fillies favorite) is the most established.”
Klesaris chased the eventual $375,000 sales price on Stardom Bound at Ocala’s March 2yo in training sale.
“I’m sorry we didn’t go further on (the price) on her,” Klesaris said. “You can’t take anything away from her, but our filly is more tactical. Perhaps she (Sky Diva) will have the luxury of sitting the better trip.”
Stardom Bound (Tr: Christopher Paasch; ex. rider: Bruno Delgadillo) – Stardom Bound galloped 1 1/2m under exercise rider Bruno Delgadillo after shipping from Hollywood Park on Wednesday and schooling in the paddock.
Trainer Chris Paasch said the filly settled into the same stall in Barn 69 that she occupied when winning the Oak Leaf Stakes Sept. 27. He did not see post 10 as a major concern for a horse that has broken slowly in all four of her starts.
“Whatever we have, we have,” Paasch said.
Stardom Bound played with a ball suspended at the entrance of her stall as groom Hector Barrientos and hot walker Juan Pablo Quevedo looked on.
“She loves that ball and she loves her pony,” Paasch said. “If I ever sold her, I might have to sell her pony with her.”
Jockey Mike Smith, a 10-time Breeders’ Cup winner, seeks his first Juvenile Fillies win after second-place finishes with Love That Jazz in 1996 and Composure in 2002, and third-place efforts with Heavenly Prize in 1993 and Primaly in 1997.
Van Lear Rose (Tr: Catherine Day Phillips) – Van Lear Rose, a Kingview Farms homebred, didn’t get much attention when paraded around the ring at the CTS (Canadian Thoroughbred Sales) Select Sale as a yearling.
“Not only did she not meet her reserve, she failed to get a single bid,” trainer Catherine Day Phillips said.
The daughter of Stroll, and granddaughter of Pulpit, was bred by Richard Day, the brother of the trainer, who chooses to sell his horses on the commercial market rather than keep them for racing.
“To not get a single bid for her was devastating after you put so much into getting ready for a sale,” he said. “It was demoralizing. But fate has a funny way of turning out.”
Once Van Lear Rose ended up with Day Phillips, she blossomed.
“After six weeks, she was already grown up and filled out some,” said Day Phillips, one of only two female trainers in this year’s Breeders’ Cup.
Van Lear Rose, who convinced her connections she has the right to be here by winning the Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine last out, galloped 1m and stood at the gate in her final preparation before race day.
“I don’t know how to put into words how thrilled I am with her,” Richard Day said. “It’s very exciting to be at the Breeders’ Cup with a horse I bred who is trained by my sister. I’m riding the wave of excitement.”
The brother and sister are the children of trainer Jim Day, a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame and multiple Sovereign Award winner who started 14 horses in the Breeders’ Cup and won the 1991 Distaff with Dance Smartly.
Van Lear Rose is the second starter for Catherine Day Phillips, who finished 13th with A Bit O’ Gold in the 2005 Classic.