09/25/2013 2:17PM

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf: Clenor leads wide-open field as remaining preps approach

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Clenor has won both her starts on the West Coast, including the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf Sept. 2 at Del Mar (above), after losing her first three in her native country. She will have something of a home-court advantage as she will be training at the site of the Breeders’ Cup.

Opportunities for fillies to prove their credentials for the Nov. 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf are fast running out, though there are several major preps left.

Coming up first is the Grade 3 Miss Grillo Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 6, and on the same day, at Breeders’ Cup host site Santa Anita, the Surfer Girl Stakes at a mile on turf will be contested. On Oct. 9, the Grade 3 Jessamine Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf will be the last graded stakes on turf for juvenile fillies until the Breeders’ Cup. The Miss Grillo and the Jessamine are Win and You’re In races.

There will be some foreign horses that come in for the Breeders’ Cup, and a maiden race or two will probably provide starters for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, but other opportunities against established horses are few, at least on turf. The Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes on Oct. 4 at Keeneland, contested on Polytrack, could provide a starter, as it has in the past.

So, where does that leave the division at the end of September? It’s a wide-open event at this point, though one might say the pro tem leader is the Irish-bred Clenor, trained by Doug O’Neill, since she has won both her starts on the West Coast, including the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes at Del Mar, after losing her first three in her native country. She will have something of a home-court advantage as she will be training at the site of the Breeders’ Cup.

Canadian-based My Conquestadory defeated males in her career debut while winning the Grade 2 Summer Stakes at a mile on turf at Woodbine on Sept. 14. Trainer Mark Casse opted to unveil her in that event though the filly counterpart, the Natalma Stakes, also at a mile on turf, was held the same day at the same track. The daughter of Artie Schiller won by open lengths and looked professional doing it and has to be highly ranked in the division. The powerful Ramsey Stable has a couple of strong candidates in Lien On Kitten and Granny Mc’s Kitten, both daughters of Kitten’s Joy, and you have to respect their chances.

In England, Lucky Kristale won the Lowther Stakes, a Win and You’re In race, at York in August, and she is being considered, though her trainer, George Margarson, had earlier indicated that she would not likely ship to the States for the Breeders’ Cup because he wanted to keep her sprinting. The daughter of Lucky Story has won four of five starts and is scheduled to run in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at six furlongs at Newmarket on Saturday, and a decision on her Breeders’ Cup status will be made after that race.