Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Nov. 5-6
$1 Million Breeders’ Cup
Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade II)
1 Mile (Turf)
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Allure d'Amour/More Than Real – Trainer Todd Pletcher sent both his Juvenile Fillies Turf starters to the paddock and galloped them 1 1/4 m around the main track in final preparation for their assignment in Friday’s race.
“They’re different kinds of horses,” Pletcher said. “Allure d’Amour will probably find herself a little bit closer to the pace. They each have two starts. They’ve come a long way in a short period of time, and have shown us a lot of ability. They’re both capable of running well in this type of race.”
It’s been less than a month since Allure d’Amour broke her maiden on yielding turf at Belmont Park.
“I thought her maiden win was very impressive,” Pletcher said. “She was a little unlucky not to win first out. Unfortunately we’ve got a terrible post (14), but her figures indicate that she fits with this group.”
More Than Real broke her maiden at first asking at Saratoga in mid-August, and then was put right into stakes company with a second-place finish in the Natalma at Woodbine.
“We really like this filly,” Pletcher said. “I thought her work here was excellent. We probably got her a little too far off the pace in the Natalma, but I think it was a good learning experience for her. We got her covered up and hopefully taught her something, and hopefully that will pay dividends here.”
More Than Real began her career in the barn of Chad Brown, but was purchased by celebrity chef Bobby Flay off her maiden win. She faces a tough task from post 11 in this full field.
“It’s a loaded race,” Pletcher said. “I think Winter Memories in particular was most impressive in the Miss Grillo.”
Fancy Point – The 2yo daughter of Point Given took a spin around Churchill’s turf course with jockey Kent Desormeaux in the irons Thursday morning, leaving both rider and trainer Will Phipps with smiles on their faces as she returned to the barn.
“He (Desormeaux) fell in love with her out there today,” Phipps said. “When he came off the gap he said, ‘Wow.’ I always like that when they impress them early on. She just did it easily, which is what you want to see. We’re still learning so much about her. Her starts are limited, but what she’s done, she’s done well.”
Fancy Point comes into the Juvenile Fillies Turf off a third-place finish in the Oct. 3 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont.
“Historically, she’s been headstrong coming out of the gate and took (jockey) Javier (Castellano) to the lead twice without that being our intention,” Phipps said.
“We’ve been working with her at home in an effort to get her to break a little kinder and rate in behind horses, which we’ve had some great success with. But I think either way she’s going to be versatile, so Kent can read the pace and see where it all goes. It’s going to be interesting to see how it sets up, definitely. We’ll just see how it unfolds. Kent knows what to do, he knows the course.”
Fancy Point will jog Friday morning to stretch her legs before the race on Friday.
Flood Plain –The Juddmonte Farms’ homebred has a first and a second in two starts in seven-furlong races on straight courses in England and will make her first start around two turns in Friday’s Juvenile Fillies Turf.
“I like the way she has come on,” trainer John Gosden said. “She won a maiden first time. She was second in the Radley; I think that will turn out to be a good race. I think the winner (Zoowraa) is very smart. She was on the other side racing on her own a long way. She wasn’t taken into the race. I don’t think we’d have beaten the winner, but I think we could have been a lot closer to the winner.”
Gosden believes that Gosden’s outside post position (12) will compromise his filly’s chances.
“She’s come here in good order, but she’s got an unfortunate draw, the 12. For any horse being drawn out that wide is a big disadvantage. That’s why in America they don’t run mile races much on these tracks. They run a mile-and-a-sixteenth, which is the intelligent thing to do.
“I think they should run at the mile-and-a-sixteenth because the horses drawn to the outside are at a severe disadvantage with that bend coming so quick and they’re so wide.”
William Buick will ride the Orpen filly, who is 20-1 on the morning line.
Kathmanblu – Five-D Thoroughbred’s Bluegrass Cat 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,” said McPeek.
While competing at the Breeders’ Cup has become a regular event for McPeek, who finished third in this same race last year with House of Grace, this will be the first time Five-D Thoroughbreds has had a runner as an owner. They were the breeders of Strike the Deal, who finished fourth in the 2007 Juvenile Turf.
New Normal – R. S. Evans’ homebred daughter of Forestry jogged 1 m and galloped 1 1/2 m Thursday morning with trainer Mark Frostad looking on.
Frostad feels he has as good a chance as any in the field with New Normal, who has won two straight turf races, including the Natalma at Woodbine last out while racing on the front end.
“There are several good-looking fillies in the field,” Frostad said, “and she’s one of them. She fits well with these.”
Nina Fever – If trainer Wesley Ward is seen walking around with his fingers crossed, it’s for a good reason. His Nina Fever is sitting on the outside looking in as the only also-eligible for the Juvenile Fillies Turf set for Friday. And there’ll be nothing official until Friday’s 7 a.m. scratch time. So, says Ward, “I’ve got my fingers crossed. She has been training great.”
Nina Fever went about her work again Thursday with a 1 1/2 m gallop over the Churchill turf course.
Quiet Oasis – With a pony by her side and accompanied by stablemate Theyskens’ Theory and trainer Brian Meehan on a pony, J. Paul Reddam’s Quiet Oasis went to the paddock for a schooling session before galloping on the track.
Quiet Oasis has only run three times, winning an EBF Conditions Stakes on Polytrack, and was recently a close finish fourth in the Park Stakes at the Curragh after running in mid-pack much of the race.
“I would like to see her closer to the pace here,” Meehan said. “She’s a progressive filly, and she just ran out of ground last time.”
Quiet Oasis, by 2003 Breeders’ Cup Mile 10th place finisher Oasis Dream, was anxious to get out of the quarantine barn when she arrived, but has settled more happily with each day of exercise.
“She’s a busy filly, but cool,” Meehan said. “She is doing very well here. She’s enjoying the track.”
Tale Untold – The Tale of the Cat filly visited the turf course Thursday morning in the final preparation for her race.
“She’s fine. She didn’t do a lot,” assistant trainer Richard Hannon Jr. said. “She’s a 2-year-old filly and doesn’t need much more. She had a canter around the turf and had a look at it. That was it. She’s all ready for (Friday).”
Tale Untold was purchased by American Marc Keller in September and will move into the care of Keller’s U.S. trainer, Robert Ribaudo, following the Breeders’ Cup.
Hannon Jr. is handling the filly and stablemate Paco Boy for his father, who underwent successful heart bypass surgery earlier this week.
Together – Making her first appearance on the turf course on Thursday morning, Together warmed up with a two minute walk on the dirt course, then galloped strongly once around, skimming the outside fence with eagerness, before pulling up into a canter.
Aidan O’Brien’s head lad Pat Keating said he had no concerns with the firmness of the turf course, despite the filly’s best recent races coming on ground rated “good to soft” or “soft”.
She gamely outdueled Theyskens’ Theory in the Sept. 25 Fillies’ Mile, finishing a neck behind the winner, White Moonstone. She came back seven days later to finish third, again a neck from victory in the Fillies’ Trophy, her most recent race.
“She’s doing well, couldn’t be better,” Keating said.
Winter Memories – Even though they are both stakes winners on the grass, trainer Jimmy Toner said the unbeaten morning-line favorite and her mother, the outstanding race mare Memories of Silver, do not have a lot in common.
Toner has handled both of them for Phillips Racing Partnership. Memories of Silver was a Graded stakes winner in the mid-90s and finished fifth versus males in the 1996 Mile. Winter Memories, a daughter of El Prado, broke her maiden at Saratoga on Sept. 3 and won the Miss Grillo Stakes on Oct. 3 at Belmont.
“They are two different horses. She is nothing like her mother,” Toner said. “She does everything right. She’s a nice filly to be around. Her mother was probably the most competitive horse you’ve ever been around. Competitive, but had a personality, a real personality about her. I really enjoyed training her.”
“This girl, nothing bothers her. She’s laid-back, she does her job. For a 2-year-old she’s very professional and very mature.”
Winter Memories opened some eyes with a strong finish in the Saratoga race and earned a lot of respect with a powerful run from off the pace in the Miss Grillo.
“We don’t like to rush her,” Toner said. “We let her settle back and then she makes that big move around the turn. She likes to have a chance to settle in early and when she’s ready she’ll give you the run.”
Winter Memories has already shown that she can win over fast or yielding surfaces.
“I don’t think the condition of the course is going to make any difference,” Toner said.
“I think the bottom line is: with 14 horses, you have to get the trip. I think that’s the bottom line. Whoever gets the trip is going to get the job done. You’ve got 14 horses stretched out with speed, come-from-behind and mid-pack horses. You have to get lucky, No question about that.”
Wyomia – Trainer Dan Vella was on hand Thursday morning when the daughter of Vindication galloped an easy 2 m around the Churchill Downs main track.
Wyomia debuted on the turf in August and finished fifth, but has won two straight, including the Mazarine Stakes on Woodbine’s Polytrack since then.
“She’s very inquisitive,” said Vella, “and in that first start, it was like she needed to see everything there was to see. She took it all in, but her mind wasn’t on racing.
“Next time out, though, she had it all figured out and handled it like a professional racehorse. She’s gotten more aggressive each start.”
Vella said he doesn’t like to over-race his 2yos, especially a filly like Wyomia who still has some growing to do, but this opportunity was too good to miss.
“Everything is perfect with her,” he said. “Ordinarily, I would have put her away, but the Breeders’ Cup comes at an ideal time for her. She’s just perfect right now.”
Although she was unplaced in her only turf start, Wyomia uses the turf training course at Woodbine, which Vella said is similar to the Churchill Downs grass course.
Wyomia, a big juvenile filly at 16.2 hands, has an outstanding pedigree, especially on the bottom. She is out of the Kingmambo mare Beyond the Sun, who has produced four foals to race, all winners. When Wyomia won the Mazarine Stakes, she became the third stakes winner produced by Beyond the Sun, who also foaled Carnera and Red Giant, who set a course record for 10f last year at Colonial Downs.