Get ready to see a bunch of fillies come out of the gate and fight for the lead. I’m amazed how many of these have wanted or needed the lead in their prep races for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for Fillies. I believe the winner will come from off the pace, and most likely from well off the pace.
Churchill Downs – Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) – 1 1/16 miles – Dirt – $2,000,000
Date: November 4, 2011
Estimated Post Time: 6:10pm EST
1. Questing (GB) – William Buick – 20/1
2. Candrea – Martin Garcia – 6/1 PICK
3. Rocket Twentyone – Eddie Razo – 20/1
4. Miss Netta – Rajiv Maragh – 15/1
5. Grace Hall – Ramon Dominguez 4/1
6. Self Preservation – Joel Rosario – 15/1
7. Putthebabiesdown – Alan Garcia – 30/1
8. Homecoming Queen (IRE) – Ryan Moore – 15/1
9. My Miss Aurelia – Corey Nakatani – 5/2 PICK
10. Northern Passion – Luis Contreras – 12/1 PICK
11. Weemissfrankie – Rafael Bejarano – 4/1 PICK
12. Frolic’s Revenge – John Velazquez – 30/1
13. Say a Novena – Elvis Trujillo – 30/1
14. Awesome Belle – Luis Jurado – 20/1
Weemissfrankie (NY) – Trainer Peter Eurton
A New York bred filly running in Southern California. Doesn’t sound right, does it? She is also 3 for 3 in her brief career. A complete contrast to My Miss Aurelia in that she comes from far behind to win her races. She broke her maiden first time out on July 20 at Del Mar. Her follow up was a win in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes. Her last race was a another Grade 1 win in the Oak Leaf Stakes. She just got up in time to win by 1/2 length. With several fillies in this field expected to make a pitch for the lead, this race might fall into her game plan perfectly. Expect her to be flying down the stretch. The pick.
2011 Record: 3 Starts 3-0-0 (Won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes and Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes both at Del Mar).
My Miss Aurelia (KY) – Trainer Steven Asmussen
She has won all three of her races at Saratoga and Belmont Park. The scary part is that she is getting better with each race. Of course you can say that about many of the fillies in this field, but this daughter of Smart Strike broke her maiden at Saratoga on July 22, won the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga and her latest was a convincing win in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes on Super Saturday at Belmont Park. She went to the lead and never gave it up. She drew off to win by 5 1/2 lengths, defeating Stopshoppingmaria and Miss Netta in the process. She is the speed of the speed. The only way she does not win this race is if she gets herself in a serious speed duel. It’s not out of the question considering how many fillies in here want the lead.
2011 Record: 3 Starts 3-0-0 (Won the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park and Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga).
Candrea (FL) – Trainer Bob Baffert
She won her debut at Hollywood Park in a maiden special weight race on the synthetic surface. Came back to win the seven furlongs Phil D. Shepherd Stakes at Fairplex on the dirt. Her last race was 1/2 length defeat to Weemissfrankie in the 1 1/16 miles Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita on the dirt. She will be one to sit off the lead like last time. She didn’t have enough to hold off the winner, but maybe that race will prep her well for a big run at Churchill.
2011 Record: 3 Starts 2-1-0 (Won the Phil D. Shepherd Stakes at Fairplex on September 16).
Grace Hall (KY) – Trainer Anthony Dutrow
A perfect 3 for 3 in her short career and has displayed a tremendous ability to explode away from rivals down the stretch. She won her debut going six furlongs at Delaware Park going gate to wire. She followed that up with a win in the seven furlongs Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga. This time, she sat off the pace, made her move down the stretch and drew off to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Her last race, she went back to Delaware Park and won the mile and 70 yards Blue Hen Stakes. She sat off the pace setter Glinda the Good and made another big move down the lane to win by 5 3/4 lengths. With some speed in this race, look for her to sit back a few horses and make her move again down the stretch. She obviously will have better competition in this race, but she has the makings to win this race. Contender.
2011 Record: 3 Starts 3-0-0 (Won the Grade 1 Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga on September 4).
Self Preservation (KY) – Ben Cecil
Broke her maiden second time out in Ireland. She then made the trip to the US and ran in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes at Del Mar. After getting bump out of the gate, starting last, she finished well in 2nd losing 1 1/4 lengths to Weemissfrankie. Next up was the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes. She got to the lead and dueled early with Candrea. She got tired around the far turn and fell back to 5th losing 9 1/2 lengths. Candrea just about hung on, but lost to Weemissfrankie by 1/2 length. You would think after these two performances, it would be best for her to save ground early and come on late. Not get into a speed duel, which looks to occur in this race with or without her.
2011 Record: 3 Starts 1-0-0 (2nd in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes at Del Mar on September 3).
Homecoming Queen (IRE) – Trainer Aidan O’Brien
This filly has already raced 10 times as a two year old. It took 8 tries before she broke her maiden in Ireland. She did follow it up with a nice 2nd place effort in the Group 3 C.L. Weld Park Stakes at Curragh. Lost by only a head. Her last race on October 9 was a solid 4 1/4 lengths win in the non-Group Lanwades & Staffordstown Studs Stakes at Curragh. She is one of many horses who will want the lead. She has matured well over her last three races. Tough to tell how she will fare with several others pressuring her on the front end. The one thing she does have going for her is that she is used to running in full fields of 10, 12 up to 18 horses. A good gate is a must with this filly.
2011 Record: 10 Starts 2-1-2 (Won the Lanwades & Staffordstown Studs Stakes at Curragh).
Northern Passion (ON) – Trainer Mark Casse
The leading trainer at Woodbine believes his Ontario bred filly can compete on the big stage. She broker he miaden quite easy on July 9. Followed that up with a narrow loss to Tu Endie Wei in the Ontario Debutante Stakes. Tu Endie Wei finished 7th as the favorite in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland last month. The latest for this filly was a win in the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes on the turf that saw her come from dead last and still win by 1 1/4 lengths. This late running style might come in handy with the expected speed in this race. She proven she can win a big race and within a large field (12). The leading jockey at Woodbine, Luis Contreras comes down for the ride.
2011 Record: 3 Starts 2-1-0 (Won the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine).
Rocket Twentyone (ON) – Trainer W.T. Howard
She easily won her maiden debut at Presque Isle Downs in August going six furlongs. She then came back to win the one mile Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes at Arlington Park at odds of 16-1. She didn’t get respect then and she still isn’t getting respect here as her morning line odds are 20/1. In her first race, she came from the middle of the pack, then drew off down the lane. Her last one, she sat just off the pace setter, then got up in time to win by 1/2 length. Shows she can run any style. What she does in this race will depend on the how the pace sets up in front of her. Exotic bet possibility.
2011 Record: 2 Starts 2-0-0 (Won the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes at Arlington Park on September 10).
Miss Netta (KY) – Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin
Two year old Street Sense filly won her maiden debut going six furlongs in a maiden special weight race. She finished 3rd, nine lengths behind My Miss Aurelia in the one mile Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park in her last race. She was 3 1/2 lengths behind Stopshoppingmaria for 2nd. In her opener, she went gate to wire and was never threatened en route to 2 3/4 lengths victory. In the Frizette, she has a horrible gate and never got close to the lead. She was playing catch up the entire time. Her and Questing will most likely be on the lead. Not sure at this point who is the speed of the speed. Don’t have enough data. If she can mirror her effort in the opener, could be a player in this race.
2011 Record: 2 Starts 1-0-1 (Was 3rd in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park on October 8).
Questing (GB) – Trainer John Gosden
Broker her maiden first time out on June 21 at Newbury, then came back to finish 3rd losing a 1/2 length in the Group 3 Whiteley Clinic Prestige Stakes at Goodwood on August 21. She got out of the gate slow, quickly took the lead and still hung on late. Her last race was a solid 2nd (1/4 length) in the Group 3 Sakhee Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket. This will be on your speed horses. She could pull an upset if given an untouched lead.
2011 Record: 3 Starts 1-1-1
Frolic’s Revenge (KY) – Trainer Milton Wolfson
Most of her career has been at Calder where she broke her maiden first time out, finished 3rd in the J J’sdream Stakes, 3rd in an Allowance, won the Lindsay Frolic Stakes and came 2nd in the Brave Raj Stakes. Her last was at Keeneland in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes. She finished 4th after a wide trip around the far turn and turn for home. Despite being in the money 5 of 6 races, it doesn’t seem like she has enough punch to deal with the likes of Weemissfrankie, My Miss Aurelia and other contenders. Pass.
2011 Record: 6 Starts 2-1-2
Awesome Belle (KY) – Trainer Stanley Gold
Gold took this race last year with undefeated Awesome Feather, another Awesome of Course filly. This filly doesn’t come in with a unblemished record, but she did win the Florida Stallion My Dear Girl Stakes last time out on October 15. Once again, another filly who wants the lead. This could be one jammed packed field for the first 1/2 mile. Don’t see her lasting.
2011 Record: 6 Starts 2-1-2 (Won the Florida Stallion My Dear Girl Stakes at Calder Race Course on October 15).
Say a Novena (KY) – Trainer Edward Plesa Jr.
Broke maiden second time out at Monmouth Park then quickly followed that up with a 2nd in the Grade 2 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park. She went back to Monmouth and won the Colleen Stakes. A month later finished 2nd in the Sorority Stakes. Her last race was a 6 1/2 lengths win in the Brandywine Stakes at Parx Racing. She has shown speed and the ability to rate contending in non-graded stakes. I don’t get the impression she is good enough to tangle with the big girls.
Putthebabiesdown (KY) – Trainer Kenneth McPeek
Just barely broke her maiden first time out (head) in a special weight race at Ellis Park. She came back 13 days later and finished 2nd as the favorite in the Tippett Stakes at Colonial Downs. Took 6 weeks off then ran 4th at Saratoga in the P. G. Johnson Stakes. Missed 3rd by a head and lost the win by 3 1/2 lengths. Her most recent race was the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland. She sat off the leaders most of the race and made a move as they turned for home. She shared the lead with Heart of Destiny half way down the stretch, but was caught by Holiday Kitten. She missed 2nd by a neck and lost it all by 1 1/4 lengths. At all four tracks and in each race, she has competed well. She proved she can perform in a large field last time out at Keeneland. If she can improve on that effort, could make a play in the exotics.
2011 Record: 4 Starts 1-1-1 (3rd in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland on October 7).