Updated on 10/29/2012 4:28PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies: Newcomers Beholder, Kauai Katie draw inside and outside posts in eight-horse field

Barbara D. Livingston
Kauai Katie , left, works in company with Turbulent Descent on Oct. 21. Kauai Katie will try two turns for the first time in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Already billed as an East versus West showdown between Dreaming of Julia and Executiveprivilege, the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies picked up two major players from both coasts Monday morning.

Kauai Katie, undefeated in three starts, and Beholder, she of the 108 Beyer Speed Figure earned in a six-furlong allowance race at Santa Anita on Oct. 4, entered the eight-horse Juvenile Fillies field Monday afternoon. Both horses had also been pre-entered in the Juvenile Sprint and at least Beholder was believed to be pointing that way until Monday.

The Juvenile Fillies, run at 1 1/16 miles, will be the first race beyond seven furlongs for Beholder and first beyond 6 1/2 for Kauai Katie.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: Race-by-race coverage, video, early odds]

Richard Mandella, the trainer of Beholder, said Monday morning that when he scratched Beholder out of the Chandelier Stakes, a two-turn race, on Sept. 29, he didn’t think the filly was mentally ready for a distance race.  But since her 11-length win sprinting here on Oct. 4 he has seen a change in her attitude. That change was confirmed by the way she performed in a five-furlong workout that was timed in 1:01.22 here last Thursday.

“The day after I scratched her she started settling down and she stayed settled down,” said Mandella, who trains Beholder for the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes. “Her work the other day, we got her off the bridle, she relaxed real nice, and came on and picked her up the last 50 yards and she jumped right into it and that got me thinking that we should give this a try.”

The speedy Beholder drew the rail, virtually assuring that with a clean break she will be in front early under Garrett Gomez.

“She’s just naturally speedy,” Mandella said. “She’s going to be on the lead. At least we’re closest to the rail.”

In winning the Grade 2 Matron at Belmont by 7 1/2 lengths from a stalking position, Kauai Katie showed her trainer, Todd Pletcher, that she might be able to get a distance of ground.

“In her first two races we were letting her rock along and do her thing,” Pletcher said. “In the Matron, she drew a favorable [outside] post, we were able to allow her to settle a little bit, which she did quite well. We know she has plenty of speed; it’s a question of how far she can go. We think her mindset is going to let her stretch out a little further than maybe we originally thought.”

Kauai Katie drew the outside again, breaking from post 8 under Rosie Napravnik.

[BREEDERS' CUP PPs: Visit DRF's official BC Handicapping Center]

Dreaming of Julia, who is also 3 for 3, will break from post 5 under John Velazquez. Dreaming of Julia won her first two starts by 26 3/4 lengths before taking a hard-fought head decision over My Happy Face in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont.

Kauai Katie is named after Katie Jackson while Dreaming of Julia is named after Julia Jackson. Both are daughters of Barbara Banke and the late Jess Jackson, who formed Stonestreet Stables.

Banke had hoped to keep the two fillies separated as long as possible, but she said both deserve a shot in the biggest race of the year for juvenile fillies.

“Julia’s already a Grade 1 winner, the other filly deserves a shot too,” Banke said.

Asked what it would be like watching both fillies run against each other, Banke said, “Interesting. Nerve-wracking. They both deserve the chance. The girls are okay with it.”

Trainer Wesley Ward decided on Monday to run Almost an Angel in the Juvenile Fillies and Sweet Shirley Mae in the Juvenile Sprint. Almost an Angel will be making her first start on dirt after running twice on synthetic and three times on turf.

“I always thought from Day One that would be her preferred surface but I was afraid to put her on it because she’s by Artie Schiller,” Ward said, referring to the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner. “All of her works on dirt have been phenomenal.”

Though Ward will have three runners in the Breeders’ Cup, he will not be at Santa Anita as his son Riley will be competing in a state cross-country tournament in Florida.

“This is first time he’s competed in something like this and he’s so excited for me to come,” Ward said. “No way I could miss it.”

In post-position order, from the rail out, the field is Beholder, Executiveprivilege, Spring in the Air, Renee’s Queen, Dreaming of Julia, Almost an Angel, Broken Spell, and Kauai Katie.

If all eight horses run, it will equal the smallest Juvenile Fillies field in the history of the race. Eight horses also ran in 1993 - when Mandella won it at Santa Anita with Phone Chatter - and in 1995 when My Flag won it at Belmont Park.