12/08/2013 1:57PM

The 2-Year-Old Filly Division, and Streaming

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Every year, it seems, there is always at least one Eclipse Award division that is downright inscrutable. This year’s inscrutable award goes to the 2-year-old filly division.

After the Breeders’ Cup, it seemed the choices in this division boiled down to She’s a Tiger and Ria Antonia. They were the first two across the line in the Juvenile Fillies, separated by only a nose, with the previous divisional leaders (Sweet Reason, Artemus Agrotera) in the beaten field behind them.

Of course, She’s a Tiger was disqualified and placed second behind Ria Antonia for drifting out late and lightly brushing that opponent. So Ria Antonia became the official winner of the biggest race in her division on a borderline infraction that could have gone either way, as evidenced by the fact that the stewards’s decision was a majority, not unanimous, one. Yet because the running of the Juvenile Fillies was anything but conclusive with the official result not even determined on the track, Ria Antonia and She’s a Tiger’s Eclipse Award candidacies, such as they were, came packaged together in something of a coupled entry.

The trouble is, whichever way you choose to go between these two, you have to swallow hard first. Before the Breeders’ Cup, Ria Antonia made three stakes starts, was off the board in all of them, and had but a Woodbine maiden victory to her credit. There was a reason why she was 32-1 in the Juvenile Fillies, and regardless of what you think of the incident that resulted in her number getting put up, the fact is, she needed help from upstairs to get the Breeders’ Cup money. If Ria Antonia is the one you think should get this Eclipse Award, then you also have to think that official Breeders’ Cup results trump everything else, especially when there are no other compelling alternatives. I get that.

She’s a Tiger is, I think, a little easier to take because she, at least, won two stakes before the Juvenile Fillies, including the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, and was the more consistent performer. Still, she is not exactly a satisfying Eclipse Award contender, either. She’s a Tiger lost more stakes than she won and, in an official sense, she lost both of her two turn outings. If the stewards didn’t have to get involved in the Juvenile Fillies, then we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion. But they did, and that changed things for She’s a Tiger. A lot.

Into this breach Saturday stepped Streaming, a good-looking winner of the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet at Betfair Hollywood Park. Streaming, who had only just won her debut three weeks earlier, chased, caught, and put away an opponent in Taste Like Candy who, interestingly, was also coming off a strong first out victory and who also has the look of a fine prospect.

Although comparative handicapping is not something I often lean on because things like different racing surfaces and varying pace scenarios make it unreliable, the Starlet did offer a nugget in this regard worth considering. Rosalind, who was beaten only a half-length for it all when third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, was beaten 2 ¾ lengths finishing fourth in the Starlet.

The fact that Streaming’s Grade 1 breakthrough came late in the season is immaterial, particularly in the context of the way her division has played out this year. A more pertinent question would be whether a victory in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet is enough on its own to put a 2-year-old filly in the Eclipse Award discussion. For Streaming, again in the context of how her division unfolded this year, I think it does.

Ann More than 1 year ago
Back in 1973, everybody knew that Chris Evert was the best prospect going into the filly races next year, off of her late season wins in the Demoiselle and Golden Rod (not on the same weekend in those days). But her record didn't have the cachet of Talking Picture's wins in the G1 Matron and Spinaway so TP won the championship. That's the statue is about - wins and good races against the cream of the competition is a series of races. Of course, Talking Picture won one ungraded stakes races at 3, while Chris Evert won the Filly Triple Crown and the Eclipse award.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SAT will win the award based on her # of stars and g-1 win. But make no mistake on who's the best 2yo filly in training. Streamingggggggg....... Like a locamotive.
Dave More than 1 year ago
There is no champion 2yo filly this year. Leave it vacant.
Charley More than 1 year ago
hey, hey, hey, we still have 3 more weeks before this year is over. someone clue me in... are there anymore quality, graded races remaing for these girls, at anytime during what is left of thisyear on the schedule? ... if so, it might be wise of all of you all to "hold your horses" before declaring this EA division winner. ... of course, if no such race[s] remain, and the season is over for them, then i'm siding with the WATCHMAN !! and i'm lining up behind ... STREAMING! ... [there, now you know!]
JeanK More than 1 year ago
Streaming a most impressive athlete, she deserves top honors. Others have to work hard and over time. Streaming does it easy and naturally. When a champion shows up, it is very hard for true horsemen to disregard.
nick More than 1 year ago
And one race run after most other 2 year olds have called it a season makes the winner a champion? Hope you don't have a ballot for the Eclipse awards in your back pocket . . .
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
I say give it to Chriselliam. She's the best two year old filly to run in the United States in 2013.
B More than 1 year ago
Streaming could eventually & easily turn out to be the best of this group, but she doesn't deserve an Eclipse Award. Neither does Rio Antonia. I think it has to go to She's a Tiger by default. I think she will turn out to be a sprinter, but that has nothing to do with this current topic. None of them have done enough to be called a champion, but the powers that be seem to always have to name one even when undeserved.
Drew More than 1 year ago
Shes a Tiger would get my vote.
Joey W More than 1 year ago
I bet on She's a Tiger. She should have been DQ'd as she was. I would not have called that a light brush. But I also would like to say that neither should have won. They were Aided in victory by Johnny V's horse going down and stopping 3/4 of the horses in the race.
ghost2_ More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't even put Streaming in the discussion. (I also eliminated Ria Antonia very quickly.) She's a Tiger did by far the most this year of any 2yo filly.