10/26/2011 1:22PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf attracts 22 pre-entries

Coady Photography/Keeneland
Somali Lemonade is one of the top choices in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Even though a number of leading candidates recently dropped out of consideration for the Grade 2, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, the race still ended up drawing 22 pre-entries Monday.

“They tend to come out of the woodwork for this race,” said Josh Christian, director of racing for Breeders’ Cup.

The field for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, at a mile on the grass at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, will be capped at 14. Favoritism should lie with either Elusive Kate, a Group 1 winner based in England with trainer John Gosden, or Somali Lemonade, an undefeated Michael Matz trainee who on Oct. 13 won the division’s final Breeders’ Cup challenge race, the Grade 3 Jessamine at Keeneland.

Monday’s first round of entries included eight runners who also were pre-entered in the Grade 1, $2 million Juvenile Fillies. Of those cross-entered, three have listed the Juvenile Fillies Turf as their first preference: Stephanie’s Kitten, winner of the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland; Stopshoppingmaria, runner-up in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park; and Up, a maiden winner not selected into the field when pre-entries were released Wednesday.

Those declaring the Juvenile Fillies on dirt as first preference were Rocket Twentyone, Self Preservation, Homecoming Queen, Questing, and Northern Passion, whose Grade 3 Natalma score at Woodbine was a Win and You’re In for the Juvenile Fillies Turf. If the five stick with dirt for final entries Monday, it would create room for those who were not selected into the field Wednesday. The first five on the list are My Gi Gi, Customer Base, Spirited Miss, Up, and Ann of the Dance.

Dayatthespa, who was second in the Natalma, and Pure Gossip, winner of the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont Park, were both pre-entered in the Juvenile Fillies Turf after being made supplemental nominations to the Breeders’ Cup at a cost of $100,000. Other pre-entries of note included Hard Not to Like, who defeated statebred males last out in the $250,000 Cup and Saucer at Woodbine, and Dear Lavinia, who like My Gi Gi was a recent private purchase with an eye to the Juvenile Fillies Turf.