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Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies: Perfection on the line for three starters
ARCADIA, Calif. – Together, they have won all 11 of their starts – 10 of them at less than even-money – including eight stakes, six of which are graded.
And they’re only 2-year-olds.
Friday, the terrific trio of Executiveprivilege, Dreaming of Julia, and Kauai Katie will be in the same starting gate when a field of eight goes in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita.
Executiveprivilege, trained by Bob Baffert, has been the dominant West Coast-based filly, going 5 for 5 with four stakes wins. She galloped to a 6 1/4-length victory in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes here Sept. 29, her first start on dirt – and around two turns – after making her first four starts on synthetic surfaces.
“She knows where that wire is,” said Baffert, a two-time winner of the Juvenile Fillies. “You get a filly that keeps winning like that you know they’re special. She just gets it done.”
Executiveprivilege, a daughter of First Samurai, was a $650,000 2-year-old-in-training purchase by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman.
Before her dominant victory in the Chandelier, Executiveprivilege won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante by a nose over Beholder. That victory became more relevant when Beholder came back to win an allowance race by 11 lengths, earning a 108 Beyer Speed Figure. Beholder is also in this field.
Baffert explained that in the Del Mar Debutante, Executiveprivilege gave her rider, Rafael Bejarano, a bit of a difficult time.
“She gets mad if you take too much of a hold of her,” Baffert said. “She locks up on the bit. The thing about her is distance. She has speed, but the distance is not a problem for her. She’s still young, but I think the two turns is so much better for her.”
Two turns is expected to also be much better for Dreaming of Julia, a daughter of A.P. Indy who is 3 for 3. Dreaming of Julia won her debut sprinting by 10 1/2 lengths, then won the one-mile Meadow Star Stakes by 16 1/4 lengths. In the Grade 1 Frizette, Dreaming of Julia got into a spirited duel with My Happy Face before gutting out a head victory.
Dreaming of Julia, owned by Stonestreet Stables, has worked three times since the Frizette, including a sharp half-mile breeze last Sunday in company with probable Juvenile favorite Shanghai Bobby.
“She has trained like a filly that wants to run further,” Pletcher said. “She’s got very efficient action, kind of a bounding stride that tells you she would want to go longer.”
Pletcher and Stonestreet will also be represented by Kauai Katie, a daughter of Malibu Moon who is 3 for 3 but has yet to race beyond 6 1/2 furlongs. She did rate off one horse in the Grade 2 Matron at Belmont when she was drawn on the outside. She is drawn on the outside again in the Juvenile Fillies.
Beholder was expected to start in the Juvenile Sprint, but her Hall of Fame trainer, Richard Mandella, made a last-minute change and went into the Juvenile Fillies.
While Beholder has shown Mandella the “ability to turn off,” he said he expects her to be on the lead breaking from the rail.
“I don’t know that you couldn’t settle her down and take off somebody – she did that in her first couple of races and she did fine – but as fast as she is, she’ll be on the lead,” Mandella said.
A fast pace could enhance the chances of Spring in the Air, who is coming off a win in the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland, rallying from 10th in the 14-horse field.
“She sat back a little further what I thought, but Patrick [Husbands] can place her wherever he wants,” Casse said. “Hopefully, a big speed duel develops, and we can come running. That’s what we’ll need to win.”
Broken Spell, second to Spring in the Air in the Alcibiades, returns to the dirt, a surface on which she was beaten double-digit lengths, both times sprinting. She is trained by D. Wayne Lukas, who has won this race five times, most recently in 2005 with Folklore.
Broken Spell’s last three races – a win and two seconds – all came since she was put on the medication Lasix. That medication has been banned in all Breeders’ Cup races restricted to 2-year-olds beginning this year. The other seven fillies in the race will be running without Lasix for the first time.
Renee’s Queen, twice beaten by Executiveprivilege over synthetic surfaces at Betfair Hollywood Park, and Almost an Angel complete the field.
Spring In The Air has a big chance in here.
- 1.Posted 12/10/2013 02:23PM
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