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Breeders' Cup Babies: Juvenile Fillies Turf
DRF.com handicapping editor Dan Illman, author of "Betting Maidens and 2-Year-Olds," takes an in-depth approach to juvenile racing every year at Saratoga and Keeneland in his DRF Plus columns, Spa Babies and Keeneland Babies.
Welcome to Breeders' Cup Babies. I'll give out the skinny on the 2-year-olds scheduled to compete in the World Championships.
ALLURE D'AMOUR (Giant's Causeway - Salut d'Amour, by Danehill Dancer)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Foaled February 9, 2008 in Kentucky...Sire was a Group 1 winner on turf in Europe (13-9-4-0, $3,078,989, 9-12 on turf)...Dam was a stakes-winner on turf in England (10-2-4-1, $119,140, 2-9 on turf)...Dam a half-sister to Group 3 turf winner REGIME (25-5-3-2, $686,187, 3-18 on turf)...Broke sweetly and prompted the pace from the two path en route to her maiden win over yielding ground at Belmont on October 17 for trainer Todd Pletcher. Seemed a little green with his lead changes on the final turn, but stayed straight and true once clear in the stretch...Daughter of Giant's Causeway has upside, but will be taking a solid step up in class.
ARCH SUPPORT (Arch - Two Ninety Jones, by Sir Harry Lewis)
Trainer: Gary Contessa
Foaled March 2, 2008 in Kentucky...Sold for $75,000 as a yearling (Keeneland, September 2009)...Half-brother to stakes-placed BONDING (11-3-0-2, $98,460, 0-3 on turf)...Sire a Grade 1 route winner (7-5-1-0, $480,969, unraced on turf)...Dam was a stakes-winner on turf (40-7-7-8, $347,438, 7-33 on turf)...Female family of stakes-winner SUSCEPTIBLE (11-4-1-1, $47,784)...Sat a good ground-saving trip in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont on October 3. Split horses gamely for second that afternoon, but finished far behind Winter Memories...Lone win came in gate-to-wire fashion at Saratoga over a turf course that played to speed runners for most of the meet.
DOS LUNAS (Hennessy - Mi Luna Nueva, by El Prado)
Trainer: John Glenney
Foaled March 31, 2008 in Kentucky...Sire was a Grade 1 sprint winner at two (9-4-3-0, $580,400, unraced on turf)...Dam was a stakes-placed router (8-1-3-2, $74,505, 1-5 on turf)...Dam a half-sister to stakes-winner CRYSTAL'S DOUBLE (54-8-5-6, $104,033, 0-1 on turf), multiple Grade 3 turf winner KIM LOVES BUCKY (32-6-2-1, $499,695, 6-30 on turf), and Grade 3 turf winner TRANSDUCTION GOLD (32-5-6-3, $476,163, 5-29 on turf)...Looked good winning five-furlong debut on grass over the Churchill turf course, setting a pressured pace before drawing away in upper stretch...Seemed overly-eager in two-turn debut at Monmouth, and faltered in the stretch...Tired very badly in a quick running of the Natalma Stakes two starts back at Woodbine...May have distance issues.
FANCY POINT (Point Given - Fancy Clancy, by Rahy)
Trainer: William Phipps
Foaled February 7, 2008 in Kentucky...Half-sister to stakes-winning router FANCY FUSAICHI (17-4-3-2, $236,499, 0-4 on turf), and stakes-placed POWERCHORD (16-2-3-5, $62,859, 0-5 at two, 0-5 on turf)...Sire was a multiple Grade 1 winner (13-9-3-0, $3,968,500, unraced on turf)...Dam was a turf winner 9-3-1-0, $67,210, 3-9 on turf)...Dam a half-sister to turf stakes-winner FABULEUX DANCER (5-1-2-0, $21,895, 1-5 on turf), Group 3-placed turf performer DANSEUR FABULEUX (13-0-4-3, $25,353, 0-13 on turf), Grade 3 winner DOUBLES PARTNER (12-6-1-0, $180,869, 2-4 on turf), stakes-placed turf performer SAKURA PATRICK (12-2-1-1, $40,801, 2-10 on turf), and Grade 1 turf winner JOYEUX DANSEUR (14-8-0-1, $645,228, 8-13 on turf)...Controlled the pace in the Miss Grillo, but had no response when Winter Memories came calling in upper stretch, and was late to make her final lead change...Best effort to date came when going gate-to-wire over speed-friendly Saratoga inner turf course when still a maiden in the P.G. Johnson Stakes.
FLOOD PLAIN (Orpen - Delta, by Zafonic)
Trainer: John Gosden
Foaled March 7, 2008 in Great Britain...Sire was a Group 1 winner on turf in France (6-2-0-1, $169,008, 2-6 on turf)...Dam was a turf winner (3-2-0-0, $25,150, 2-3 on turf)...Female family of Grade 1 route winner CONTREDANCE (21-8-3-2, $492,700, 3-7 on turf)...Juddmonte homebred is a granddaughter of Lure, a two-time winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile...Lightly-raced filly was no match for undefeated Zoowraa in the seven-furlong Radley Stakes at Newbury on October 23, and her Racing Post Ratings pale in comparison to some of the other Europeans…Orpen – Zafonic breeding ‘nick’ has produced Group 3 turf winner Vigata.
FOREST LEGEND (Forest Camp - Silver Comic, by Silver Hawk)
Trainer: Victoria Oliver
Foaled February 4, 2008...Sold for $190,000 as a yearling (Keeneland, September 2009)...Half-sister to turf stakes-winner SILVER REUNION (9-4-1-0, $179,403, 1-3 on turf)...Sire was a Grade 2 sprint winner (11-4-2-0, $339,984, 1-1 on turf)...Dam was a Grade 2 winner on turf (9-4-1-0, $216,935, 4-8 on turf)...Dam a half-sister to stakes-winning router AKIBA (17-3-1-2, $75,905, 0-4 on turf), Group 3 turf winner LUCAYAN PRINCE (38-6-8-8, $400,457, 4-26 on turf), and multiple Grade 3 winner COMIC STRIP (23-10-6-3, $967,474, 5-11 on turf)...Won maiden at this distance at Ellis Park, but the race came back slow from a Beyer perspective...Failed to take advantage of a closer-friendly Keeneland polytrack when fifth in the Grade 1 Alcibiades...Should appreciate getting back to turf, but must improve greatly.
KATHMANBLU (Bluegrass Cat - Abba Gold, by Devil's Bag)
Trainer: Kenneth McPeek
Foaled March 19, 2008 in Kentucky...$57,000 RNA as a yearling (Keeneland, September 2009)...Sire was a Grade 1 route winner (11-5-4-0, $1,761,280, unraced on turf)...Dam was multiple stakes-placed (34-4-8-6, $179,732, 0-2 on turf)...Dam a half-sister to Grade 1 sprint winner FRIENDLY MICHELLE (12-5-0-2, $404,544, unraced on turf)...Hasn't run a bad one on the grass and could be ready for another forward move after pairing up Beyer tops in her last two races...Overcame a wide trip to take the Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland on October 14. She was three deep for most of the way before going widest turning for home. She switched leads twice when a bit green in the stretch...Has ability, but still needs to put it all together from a mechanics standpoint.
MORE THAN REAL (More Than Ready - Miss Seffens, by Dehere)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Foaled April 15, 2008 in Kentucky...$140,000 RNA as a juvenile (Fasig-Tipton, February 2010)...Worked 1 furlong in 10.3 prior to the February auction...Sire was a Grade 1 sprint winner (17-7-4-1, $1,026,228, unraced on turf)...Dam was a multiple stakes-winner (26-11-1-2, $502,600, 0-1 on turf)...Second dam is stakes-winning sprinter NOISE ENOUGH (19-2-1-6, $105,837, 0-1 on turf)...Received a good learning experience when the beaten favorite in a fast running of the Grade 3 Natalma at Woodbine as she was wrangled to the back of the pack, was mired down inside on the turn, and finished well after angled to the outside for the stretch drive. Trained by Pletcher, she looks like a filly that can improve.
NEW NORMAL (Forestry - New Economy, by Red Ransom)
Trainer: Mark Frostad
Foaled April 11, 2008 in Kentucky...$125,000 RNA as a yearling (Keeneland, September 2009)...Half-sister to stakes-placed router DISTORTED ECONOMY (11-1-3-2, $176,340, 0-5 on turf)...Sire was a Grade 1 sprint winner (11-7-1-2, $591,225, unraced on turf)...Dam was a Grade 2 winner on turf (21-6-3-2, $442.118, 5-19 on turf)...Female family of Grade 1 winner MEHMET (24-9-5-2, $718,015)...Beat back several challenges when a gate-to-wire winner of the Grade 3 Natalma at Woodbine on September 18. The Natalma was over a second faster than the Summer Stakes for colts at a mile at Woodbine that afternoon...Has been given plenty of time to recover from that good effort, but may face more pressure in her first start around two turns. Seems very sharp.
NINA FEVER (Borrego - Impact Now, by Major Impact)
Trainer: Wesley Ward
Foaled April 11, 2008 in Kentucky...Sold for $40,000 as a weanling (Keeneland, November 2008)...Sold for $32,000 as a yearling (Keeneland, September 2009)...Sire was a multiple Grade 1 route winner (20-5-6-2, $2,052,090, 1-4 on turf)...Dam was a sprint winner (7-1-0-2, $15,840, 0-1 on turf)...Dam a half-sister to Grade 2-placed turf performer AUTOMATED (23-6-6-1, $276,977, 6-21 on turf)...Her win on grass three starts back was three-fifths faster than an entry-level allowance race for older fillies and mares at Kentucky Downs on September 13...Has won her last four starts, but this will be her first route race and she has a bad habit of drifting during the stretch drive of her races...Looms a pace factor, but best races have come against weaker when shaking loose on the front end...Takes a big step up in class.
QUIET OASIS (Oasis Dream - Silent Heir, by Sunday Silence)
Trainer: Brian Meehan
Foaled April 20, 2008 in Ireland...Full sister to Group 3-placed turf performer YOUNG PRETENDER (8-2-1-1, $111,244, 2-8 on turf)...Sire was a multiple Group 1 winner on turf in England (9-4-2-1, $694,003, 4-9 on turf)...Dam was a winner on turf in England (3-1-0-0, $6,763)...Female family of multiple Group 1 turf winner NEW APPROACH (11-8-2-1, $3,885,308, 8-11 on turf)...Saved ground throughout before finishing evenly in the Group 3 Park Stakes at The Curragh on September 26...Lone career win came on polytrack, however, and her sire was strictly a sprinter...It's possible that a mile will be just out of her reach.
TALE UNTOLD (Tale of the Cat - Bank On Her, by Rahy)
Trainer: Richard Hannon
Foaled May 7, 2008 in Kentucky...Sold for $43,442 as a yearling (Tattersalls, October 2009)...Half-sister to Grade 3-placed turf performer I'M IN LOVE (20-2-6-1, $193,957, 2-16 on turf)...Sire was a Grade 2 sprint winner (9-5-1-2, $360,900, 1-1 on turf)...Dam was a turf winner (3-1-0-1, $9,014, 1-3 on turf)...Dam a half-sister to turf stakes-winner WELDNAAS (15-4-1-4, $136,056, 4-15 on turf)...Lone career victory came over polytrack in England, but this lightly-raced filly came out on the wrong end of photo finishes in her last two races...She acts like she'll handle a mile, and could appreciate a firmer surface than the one she ran on at Newmarket on October 2.
TOGETHER (Galileo - Shadow Song, by Pennekamp)
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien
Foaled April 28, 2008 in Ireland...Sold for $468,754 as a yearling (Tattersalls, October 2009)...Half-brother to Grade 1 turf winner JAN VERMEER (7-3-0-2, $604,008, 3-7 on turf)...Sire was a multiple Group 1 winner on turf in Europe (8-6-1-0, $2,245,373, 6-7 on turf)...Dam was a turf winner in France (6-1-1-1, 9,733, 1-6 on turf)...Dam a half-sister to Group 3 turf winner MIDNIGHT AIR (10-2-2-1, $50,992, 2-10 on turf)...Group 3 winner at seven furlongs in Ireland just missed in her last two races, but she drifted out very badly in her most recent start at Newmarket when returning off a seven-day rest...Talented, and should stay a mile, but needs to mind her manners if she is to take this.
WINTER MEMORIES (El Prado - Memories of Silver, by Silver Hawk)
Trainer: James Toner
Foaled April 24, 2008 in Kentucky...Half-sister to turf stakes-winner BRITISH BLUE (29-6-6-4, $201,104, 6-26 on turf), turf stakes-winner WAR TRACE (7-3-0-0, $86,538, 3-5 on turf), and Grade 3-placed turf performer LA CLOCHE (8-2-2-0, $93,414, 2-6 on turf)...Sire was a Group 1 winner on turf at two in Ireland (9-4-1-0, $236,987, 4-9 on turf)...Dam was a multiple Grade 1 winner on turf (19-9-3-5, $1,448,715, 9-16 on turf)...Dam a half-sister to Grade 2 turf winner MEMORIES (3-1-1-0, $92,540, 1-3 on turf), stakes-placed turf performer CHILDHOOD MEMORIES (15-2-3-4, $54,820, 2-15 on turf), and stakes-winner MEMORIES OF GOLD (8-4-0-1, $114,589, 0-1 in turf)...Dam a full sister to stakes-placed SPARK HAWK (21-5-3-2, $964,793, winner on turf in Japan)...Seemed a tad eager coming out of the gate in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont, but uncorked a strong late kick to run away from the field late...Beautifully-bred filly doesn't have much early speed, and that could put her at the mercy of race and pace luck...Handles both firm and wet going.
WYOMIA (Vindication - Beyond the Sun, by Kingmambo)
Trainer: Daniel Vella
Foaled February 10, 2008...Sold for $145,000 as a yearling (Keeneland, September 2009)...Half-sister to Grade 1 turf winner RED GIANT (12-6-3-1, $1,092,410, 6-9 on turf), and turf stakes-winner CARNERA (28-7-5-5, $331,701, 6-23 on turf)...Sire was a Grade 1 route winner at two (4-4-0-0, $680,950, unraced on turf)...Dam was multiple stakes-placed (12-2-2-2, $80,352, 2-8 on turf)...Second dam is stakes-winning router CARNET SOLAIRE (13-2-2-1, $78,818, 1-11 on turf)...A perfect 2-2 on polytrack by utilizing a variety of running styles, but she has a tendency to pull hard in the early portion of her races. This could conceivably sap her stretch kick against better rivals, and she was defeated the only previous time she ran on turf.