11/01/2013 7:07PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf: Chriselliam gives Carson elusive Cup win

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Tom Keyser
Chriselliam draws off late under Richard Hughes to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Twenty-three years after suffering a heartbreaking defeat in the Breeders’ Cup as a rider, Willie Carson got to celebrate a victory in the Breeders’ Cup as an owner when Chriselliam stormed home a 2 1/2-length winner of Friday’s $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita.

Testa Rossi, held up behind horses at the quarter pole, rallied to get second by a half-length over the maiden Colonel Joan, who got third by a head over My Conquestadory.

[BREEDERS' CUP FRIDAY: Video replays and race results]

Chriselliam was ridden by Richard Hughes, who recorded his first Breeders’ Cup victory in his seventh ride. This was also the first Breeders’ Cup victory for trainer Charlie Hills.

In 1990, Carson was the rider of Dayjur, who seemed on his way to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Belmont Park when he jumped a shadow and lost a neck decision to Safely Kept.

“Makes up for Dayjur, doesn’t it?” said Carson, who owns Chriselliam with Chris Wright and Emily Asprey.

Carson had always been told by riders in the morning that Chriselliam was special, but she had lost three of her five starts. Chriselliam did win the Group 1 Shadwell Fillies' Mile at Newmarket on Sept. 27 at odds of 28-1.

Friday, Chriselliam was the 6-1 fourth choice in a field of 14 2-year-old fillies. Chriselliam broke a step slowly under Hughes and received a ground-saving trip while in mid-pack. Chriselliam advanced between horses and was fourth coming to the top of the stretch. Down the lane, Chriselliam tipped out four wide and advanced on her own power until confronting the leaders inside the eighth pole before accelerating by My Conquestadory.

“I had a nice rhythm on her," Hughes said. "As soon as she turned down the backstretch I needed her just to gain a half-length to get the position I wanted. When you got loads of gears you can go there, but when you’re going as fast as you can, you can’t.”

Chriselliam, an Irish-bred daughter of Iffraaj, covered a mile over firm turf in 1:33.72 and returned $15.80 to win.

“Shes exceptional - she’s got everything you want, really,” Hills said. “She travels very well. She’s so professional, you can put her anywhere you want in a race. She also has a very good turn of foot.”

Testa Rossi, who was far back early under Jose Lezcano, encountered traffic at the quarter pole. She was able to get out in midstretch and got in the clear, but Chriselliam was long gone.

“I got a dead horse in front of me, but I don’t want to go around too far out, you know,” Lezcano said.

Chad Brown, the trainer of Testa Rossi, had to settle for a second-place finish in this race for the second straight year. Last year, he trained Watsdachances, who was second to Flotilla.

“The winner was very impressive," Brown said.

About the traffic Testa Rossi encountered, Brown said: "I can’t say right now that cost me the win. I’m proud of the way she ran. She fired another big one for me. She’s a nice filly.”

Brown’s other three runners didn’t fare too well, as Ready to Act was sixth, Kitten Kaboodle was 11th, and Granny Mc’s Kitten was 12th.

Vorda, the 5-2 favorite, finished seventh. Her rider, Olivier Peslier, said Vorda didn’t care for the firm turf.

“It’s not the distance,” Peslier said. “Down the backstretch she had no power to go.”

Payoffs:
$2 exacta (8-12), $158.40
$1 trifecta (8-12-3), $2,810.30
$.10 super (8-12-3-14), $2,788.91
$.50 super high five (8-12-3-14-9), $60,015
$2 double (12-8), $71
$1 pick-3 (4-12-8), $210.50