10/19/2016 9:10AM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies: Yellow Agate, Dancing Rags emerge as contenders

Barbara D. Livingston
Yellow Agate is 2 for 2 after winning the Frizette Stakes earlier this month.

Christophe Clement and Graham Motion are considering the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies for their recent Grade 1 winners, but both horsemen are taking a cautious approach and are keeping close tabs on how their horses recover from their races.

Clement conditions Yellow Agate, the winner of the Oct. 8 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park. Motion trains Dancing Rags, who won the Alcibiades the previous day. The races are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, giving Yellow Agate and Dancing Rags fees-paid berths in the Juvenile Fillies.

Yellow Agate, who is 2 for 2, races for the China Horse Club, an elite partnership based in Asia that has a goal of participating in top stakes around the world.

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“She came out of the race in good order,” Clement said. “We are going to train to the Breeders’ Cup and see how she is doing.”

Dancing Rags was shipped back to Motion’s base at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland following the Alcibiades.

“She’s had a pretty easy time of it since her race,” Motion said Saturday. “She had a hard race, and she’s shipped to Kentucky and back.”

Dancing Rags is one of two prospective Juvenile Fillies entrants from the first crop of the stallion Union Rags. The other is Del Mar Debutante winner Union Strike.

Dancing Rags was bred and is owned by the Chadds Ford Stable of Phyllis Wyeth, who also bred and raced Union Rags. In 2011 and 2012, Union Rags won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special, Grade 1 Champagne, Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, and Grade 1 Belmont Stakes.

“I’m going to talk with Mrs. Wyeth about the Breeders’ Cup,” Motion said. “She’s a lovely filly, and I want to do right by her. I only want to go if she is doing really well.”

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◗ There was a lot of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies activity in the past week. A leading contender was transferred to a new trainer, Rudy Rodriguez decided to pull a filly out of the race and named another as probable, and three fillies who raced in the Chandelier at Santa Anita on Oct. 1 had their first works since that Grade 1 race.

With pre-entries for the Nov. 5 race due Monday, Union Strike was one of 19 horses whom owner Mick Ruis transferred from the barn of his daughter, Shelbe Ruis, to trainer Craig Dollase. Union Strike was given a six-furlong work from the gate by Dollase last Saturday. She was timed in 1:14.

Rodriguez all but removed Libby’s Tail from Juvenile Fillies consideration and instead said there was a “90 percent chance” that Jamyson ‘n Ginger would start.

Libby’s Tail was beaten a nose in the Frizette. The next day, Jamyson ‘n Ginger won a one-mile maiden race in the slop at Belmont by 15 1/4 lengths. The 103 Beyer Speed Figure she earned is the highest by a 2-year-old this season.

Rodriguez said Colorful Charades, the third-place finisher in the Frizette, also is being considered for the Juvenile Fillies.

Noted and Quoted, With Honors, and Champagne Room, the first-, second-, and fourth-place finishers in the Chandelier, worked last weekend at Santa Anita.

Noted and Quoted, trained by Bob Baffert, went a half in 47 seconds last Friday. On Sunday, With Honors worked in 49 for trainer Keith Desormeaux. Trainer Peter Eurton breezed Champagne Room in 48.80 on Saturday.

Zapperkat, the third-place finisher in the Chandelier, is no longer being pointed to the Juvenile Fillies. Trainer Richard Baltas said Zapperkat has a “minor issue,” and he plans to give her 60 days off.

◗ Sweet Loretta, who won the Schuylerville and dead-heated for the win in the Grade 1 Spinaway, worked five furlongs at Saratoga in 1:01.80 on Saturday for trainer Todd Pletcher. Sweet Loretta, a daughter of Tapit, is scheduled to van to Pletcher’s Belmont stable this week and ship to California the week of the Juvenile Fillies.

– additional reporting by David Grening