Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Nov. 5-6
$2 Million Grey Goose
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade I)
1 1/16 Miles
Thursday, November 4, 2010
A Z Warrior – For the second time since arriving at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, the 2yo daughter of Bernardini accompanied Classic contender Lookin At Lucky to the racetrack Thursday morning. She galloped 1 1/8m under exercise rider Peter Hutton. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said the Oct. 9 Frizette Stakes winner was ready to go for Friday’s Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Awesome Feather – In 2009, Stanley Gold trained the colt Jackson Bend to a perfect five-for-five season, which included a sweep of the Florida Stallion Series. Jackson Bend was later sold and transferred to the care of Nick Zito. Gold has followed a similar path with his undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly contender Awesome Feather, and Friday’s run may also be her last for his stable.
“She is hip number 10 for the Fasig-Tipton November Sale on Sunday in Lexington,” Gold said. “All I can do is focus on the race (Juvenile Fillies).”
Awesome Feather won all five of her starts at Calder by an average margin of more than 4 ½ lengths, but she did not face any of the horses that she’ll load the starting gate with on Friday.
“She’s like a boxer who knocked out all the local competition,” Gold said. “She’s stepping up to the big leagues, and you don’t really know what you have.”
Awesome Feather has passed every test so far, and Gold is confident she’ll put forth another good effort on Saturday.
“She has chutzpah,” Gold said. “She has all the traits you’re looking for in a good horse. She relaxes, rates and goes when you ask her. She has tactical speed, a closing finish and will eyeball horses and put them away.”
Believe in A. P. – Of the six horses trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. will saddle in the Breeders’ Cup, three – Acting Happy (Ladies Classic), Boys At Tosconova (Juvenile) and Believe in A. P. (Juvenile Fillies) – are owned, at least in part, by Jay Em Ess Stable.
“They’re great people and I wish we had more people like them in the game,” Dutrow said of Mace Siegel and his daughter Samantha. “Believe me, I can’t do good enough for them. They let me do the training and they don’t come down or yell at you if you make a mistake or run in say, the wrong spot. I’d love to get a few Breeders’ Cup wins for them this weekend.”
Believe in A. P. ran a breakthrough race last out, breaking her maiden by 12 ¾ “handy” lengths.
“The great thing about this race (Juvenile Fillies) is there is a ton of speed,” Dutrow said. “We’re looking for her to get a good trip and finish big down the lane.”
Delightful Mary – Delightful Mary galloped 1 1/4 m on the main track on Thursday and trainer Mark Casse said she is primed for race day.
“She has been doing so well right along,” he said. “She’s good to go, and it’s all in her hands, I mean hooves, now.”
Delightful Mary won her first two starts by almost 12 combined lengths and was a strong second in the 1 1/16 m Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine last out. The fact that she has already traveled the distance and has been around two turns can only be to her benefit, and Casse isn’t worried that all three of her starts have come on the Polytrack at Woodbine.
“She loves this track,” said Casse, who shipped her to Churchill Downs on Oct. 18 to give the filly plenty of time to acclimate. “She has trained beautifully.”
Delightful Mary, by Limehouse out of the French Deputy mare Deputy’s Delight, is owned by John Oxley and was the $500,000 sales topper at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale this past April. Although Corey Fraser was in the irons for all three previous starts, Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard for her stiffest test to date.
Harlan's Ruby – Shawnee Racing Stable’s Harlan’s Holiday filly went to the track for a 1 1/2 m gallop on Thursday in preparation for the race.
“It was a regular gallop, nothing complicated,” McPeek said.
Indian Gracey – Owner-trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said he plans to scratch his 2yo filly Indian Gracey from the Juvenile Fillies due to a sore right front foot.
Hollendorfer had not liked how she was jogging off the track Wednesday, and when he checked the filly early Thursday morning, he was certain that he would not run her on Friday.
“She has a hot right front foot, so we’re not running,” Hollendorfer said. “I’d rather know now than in the race. She’s talented, so she’ll get other chances. But we’re going to do the right thing by her and not run this time.”
Izshelegal – The maiden daughter of Maria’s Mon galloped 1 1/2 m and stood in the gate Thursday morning, leading trainer Terry Knight to say, “We’re done now. We’ll go out there tomorrow and see what happens.”
Izshelegal, co-owned by Golden State Warriors president Robert Rowell, is the only maiden in the field and a victory would make her the first maiden to capture the Juvenile Fillies.
Is Knight intimidated by running a maiden against more accomplished runners?
“Not at all,” he said. “We finished ahead of A Z Warrior [in the Darley Debutante at Del Mar] and she’s the morning-line favorite here. We wish we’d had a better summer with her [at Del Mar]. She just didn’t develop like we hoped she would. She never really got comfortable at Del Mar. Sometimes that happens there.
“She’s a bit of a nervy (nervous) filly; she got wound up pretty good in the (Darley) Del Mar Debutante and didn’t run as well as we thought she would (fourth). We worked with her a lot at Hollywood Park and I think she got better.
“We’re still waiting for her to run the race we feel is in her.”
Jordy Y – Having won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies twice with Dreaming of Anna in 2006 and again last year with She Be Wild trainer Wayne Catalano knows what it takes to get the job done. This year he sends 30-1 longshot Jordy Y to the post for Darrell and Evelyn Yates.
“I think I have what it takes to win this race again,” Catalano said. “I’m very happy with this filly. She has a nice, long stride on her. She’ll sit in there and do whatever she needs to do.”
Known for his work with young horses, Catalano has won 20 2yo races already this year.
“It’s satisfying to develop a young horse and get them where they need to be to win this kind of race,” Catalano said. “It’s a team effort. It takes a lot of time to teach them; to school, put them in the paddock and the gate, to do what it takes for a young horse.
“You need patience from the trainer and the owner to run them where you need to run them, and to do the things you need to do with them. I’ve been fortunate to have the right horses, and the people to get them there.”
Last year’s Juvenile Fillies winner She Be Wild hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Ashland on April 3, but Catalano hopes we haven’t seen the last of her.
“We’re trying to bring She Be Wild back,” Catalano said. “She seems to be doing good. She’s at a farm here in Kentucky, just riding around a little bit. I’m not sure when she’ll come back to the track.
Joyful Victory – Trainer Tony Dutrow knows that Joyful Victory will have to rise to the occasion to win the Juvenile Fillies. Still, he does not think he’s pushing her beyond her ability.
“It was pretty easy to see early on that she’s a nice filly,” he said. “She’s always been mature for her age and has acted well in everything we’ve asked. She won at first asking, and then we took her to New York for a Grade 1 (the 1 m Frizette on Oct. 9) and she performed well and ran fast, even though she got caught out in the 12-path. She was third to that really nice filly of Bob Baffert’s (A Z Warrior) and Todd Pletcher’s very good filly (R Heat Lightning).”
A Z Warrior is the lukewarm 7-2 morning-line favorite in the Juvenile Fillies, and Joyful Victory will also have to take on 4-1 second choice R Heat Lightning again, but Dutrow is not deterred.
“We like her better around two turns,” he said. “She has the talent to be in this field and we thought it would be a mistake not to be here. We’re aware that she’s got to step up and perform, but we wanted to give ourselves the opportunity and give her the opportunity to do so.”
The daughter of Tapit, owned by Fox Hill Farms, galloped 1 1/8 m on Thursday.
R Heat Lightning – The daughter of Trippi was sent to the paddock and galloped 1 1/4 m in preparation for her first try around two turns as the 4-1 morning-line second choice in the Juvenile Fillies. She is coming to the race off a good second in the Frizette.
“In the Frizette, she was still waiting on a place to go inside the three-sixteenths pole,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “She’s a little tricky to ride, so the key is how she gets out of the gate. I think we ran the best horse in the Frizette, but she didn’t break well and put herself in a tough spot. But what I did like is in spite of that, and being covered up and having to wait for a long time, she showed a lot of determination the last eighth of a mile.
“I think this race is very wide-open,” he said. “A lot of times the Juvenile Fillies is sort of your shortest-priced favorite of the day, but there doesn’t appear to be that type of standout this year.”
Soundwave – Trainer Ronny Werner opted to keep the Friends Lake filly in the barn on Thursday and just walked her in advance of her start in the Juvenile Fillies on Friday.
“She’s a light filly and doesn’t need a lot,” said Werner, who trains the filly for Vision Racing. “She does well walking the day before a race. She’s real smart and very relaxed.”
Tell a Kelly – The Tapit filly galloped 1 1/2 m in the dark Thursday morning at Churchill Downs under Jose Alferez, a day ahead of her date in the Juvenile Fillies.
Trainer John Sadler said all was good with the late-running chestnut, a winner in two of her four career starts.
Sadler noted that he’d paddock school Tell a Kelly once more Thursday, just as he’d done Wednesday. He said he’d likely put her on the track Friday morning – race day – to stretch her legs a bit.
“She’s the kind that needs to let a bit of energy off,” he said.
Theyskens' Theory – With trainer Brian Meehan beside her on a pony, and accompanied by her stablemate Quiet Oasis and another pony, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies contender Theyskens’ Theory jogged to the paddock on dirt, schooled for a bit, then galloped back around for a quick trip out on the dirt.
“She spent more time with her pony this morning, and is really enjoying that,” Meehan said.
After her victory in the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood, Theyskens’ Theory followed with a third-place finish in the Fillies’ Mile at Ascot. The Bernardini filly has taken well to Churchill and Meehan said she is feeling good.
“She came out of Ascot better than she came out of Goodwood,” Meehan said.
Owner Andrew Rosen bred Theyskens’ Theory from his mare Heat Lightning, by Summer Squall, and sent the filly to Meehan’s Manton yard as a yearling.
“Hugo Merry bought Heat Lightning (for $1.1 million at the 2005 Keeneland November sale) in foal to Birdstone for (Rosen), and that filly never raced,” Meehan recalled. “She then had an Unbridled’s Song colt (named Arnell, with Shug McGaughey) before Theyskens’. We have a good relationship, so this one came to me, despite the dirt pedigree.”
Heat Lightning has produced a yearling filly by Distorted Humor, and has a weanling colt by Lemon Drop Kid. She was bred to Tapit for 2011.
Theyskens’ Theory will jog to the paddock again Friday morning.