With such a deep and wide-open field, the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. I) is a tricky race to handicap. After spending some time this evening going over the race, here are a few of my thoughts on the North American-based contenders!
Andreya’s Reward – She’s won two of her three races, and I can forgive her so-so effort in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies Stakes (some horses don’t care for Kentucky Downs), but her final quarter-mile times are a bit on the slow side and suggest she might be in a too deep here.
Catch a Glimpse – She’s 2-for-2 on turf and parlayed an easy lead into a dominant and easy five-length win in the Natalma Stakes (gr. II) at Woodbine. What impressed me most about her performance that day was the way she accelerated in the final quarter-mile, running that fraction in a sharp :23.84 over a course labeled “good.” Her final time of 1:35,95 was also faster than the time of 1:36.61 recorded by Conquest Daddyo in the Summer Stakes (gr. II) two races later, despite the fact that the Summer Stakes had a substantially quicker pace.
Harmonize – She’s shown a lot of versatility in her career, finishing second by a nose in her debut after setting the pace, winning the P.G. Johnson Stakes after tracking the pace, and winning the Jessamine (gr. III) while rallying from a dozen lengths behind. However, it’s worth noting that she got a nice pace setup in the Jessamine (gr. III), and she might need to show more speed on Friday since she’s facing a tougher field, and it could be difficult to rally eight-wide again and still get up in time to win.
Pricedtoperfection – She unleashed a big finish to break her maiden on October 17th at Belmont, and she was beaten just 1 1/2 lengths by Miss Grillo Stakes (gr. III) winner Tin Type Gal in a maiden race at Saratoga. It’s interesting to note that Chad Brown thinks very highly of Pricedtoperfection, and for that reason, I’m leaning toward including her in multi-race wagers.
Ruby Notion – She’s never run farther than 5 1/2 furlongs, but she ran respectably well against colts in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and later won the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth and Selima Stakes at Laurel in very easy fashion. She’s got a ton of speed and figures to be the pacesetter, and while I don’t think she’ll win, it’s worth noting that front-runners have historically done quite well finishing in the exotics in this race, and I wouldn’t count Ruby Notion out of the mix for the superfecta.
Sapphire Kitten – She fought hard against Harmonize in the Jessamine, losing by just a neck while staying closer to the early pace. I always like the progeny of Kitten’s Joy in a major turf race (who doesn’t? :) ), and if you like Harmonize, you have to like Sapphire Kitten as well.
Thrilled – She’s run well against some of the favorites in this race, including Harmonize, and finished just a nose behind Tin Type Gal in the Miss Grillo Stakes after a long stretch battle. She’s clearly a very talented filly, but this race is so deep that it might be hard to include her in multi-race wagers… which is exactly why it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her win at 15-1 or so. :)
Tin Type Gal – After a seventh-place finish in her debut sprinting on dirt at Saratoga, she’s gone 2-for-2 on turf, defeating Pricedtoperfection in a maiden race at Saratoga before rallying to win the Miss Grillo Stakes by a nose. My gut feeling is that Catch a Glimpse, Harmonize, Pricedtoperfection, and the European shipper Last Waltz might be slightly better, but the Miss Grillo has historically been a very good prep for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and it’d be very hard to leave her off multi-race wagers.
Gliding By – This Woodbine shipper produced a big finish to win her debut at Woodbine, rallying from nearly nine lengths back at the quarter pole to win by two lengths, but she hasn’t been receiving much attention at all, and I think she could be a very, very live longshot in this race.
Time and Motion – She’s ran very well to be third in the Miss Grillo off a fourth-place finish in her debut, but enters this race as a maiden. Still, trainer James Toner isn’t one to put his horses in a major race without a good reason, and Time and Motion figures to be every bit of 30-1 in the wagering, so she might be one to consider for very deep multi-race wagers or the superfecta if she draws into the race.
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