10/05/2011 12:55PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf contenders face decision on supplement fee

Barbara D. Livingston
Pure Gossip would have to be supplemented to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at a cost of $100,000.

Pure Gossip, Slip Along Band, and Dayatthespa are all legitimate contenders for the Grade 2, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Nov. 4, but to play each of their camps will have to pay $100,000 to make them eligible for the race. None of the fillies are Breeders’ Cup-nominated, which creates a six-figure question that must be answered by the date of pre-entries Oct. 24.

Pure Gossip swooped onto the Juvenile Fillies Turf scene Sunday, when she romped in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont. Trainer Phil Serpe said the topic of supplementing her to the Breeders’ Cup is being discussed this week with owner Viane Lizza.

“We’re going to have a meeting about it,” he said. “It didn’t surprise us that she ran that well on the turf. But it’s always a surprise to win a race like that by six and a half lengths. There’s no sure thing in life, never mind Thoroughbred horse racing. It was a great surprise.”

And it creates a great question. Slip Along Band put the same one to her owner and trainer Michael Pino on Sept. 4, when she dominated the Junior Champion at Monmouth. Pino has since sold a half-interest in the filly, who is to run in Thursday’s Jessamine at Keeneland after scratching from the Miss Grillo due to soft turf. The Jessamine is the final Win and You’re In for the division, and Slip Along Band’s performance will go a long way in determining whether she’s supplemented.

“She would have to run real good and have to come out of it real good, and then I’m willing to take the chance and supplement her, if all that goes right,” Pino said. “It’s hard to come up with a horse like that, so you’ve got to take a chance.”

For each of the fillies, the $100,000 nomination fee would give them lifetime eligibility to the Breeders’ Cup.

◗ Maybe, the undefeated Group 1 winner who did not go in the Marcel Boussac at Longchamp as expected Sunday, will not race the remainder of the year, according to trainer Aidan O’Brien’s wife, Anne-Marie O’Brien.

“She will have a break now,” O’Brien stated in a social-media message, “and hopefully will be trained for next year’s classics.”