Updated on 09/15/2011 2:15PM

Countdown to the Cup: Juvenile Fillies (10/18)


ELMONT, N.Y. - With six legitimate contenders, Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel is expected to finally break through in his bid to win a Breeders' Cup race. The race many expect him to win is the $1 million Juvenile Fillies with You.

"On paper, going in I would think so,' Frankel said when asked if You was his best chance to end his 0 for 36 Breeders' Cup drought. "But, I'm expecting Flute to win [the Distaff]."

You's chances were enhanced Wednesday when only nine 2-year-old fillies were pre-entered for the 1 1/16-mile race. That equaled the fewest pre-entries for the Juvenile Fillies in the 18-year history of the Breeders' Cup. Nine were also pre-entered in 1993. Twice the race has been run with eight starters and that could be the case again this year as Godolphin Racing plans to run either Tempera or Imperial Gesture, not both.

Though lacking in numbers, the prospective field does not lack talent. Four of the nine pre-entrants are undefeated, including Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante winner Habibti, Bella Bellucci, Take Charge Lady, and Shesastonecoldfox.

Sophisticat, a $3.4 million yearling purchase and a daughter of 1994 Juvenile Fillies runner-up Serena's Song, adds European flavor to the mix. She is 1 for 7, having raced exclusively on turf for Aidan O'Brien. Jealous Forum, a Canadian-based filly, completes the list of pre-entrants.

Coming off her 6 1/4-length victory in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont on Oct. 6, You figures to be the second shortest-priced favorite on the Breeders' Cup card behind Officer in the Juvenile. As good as You was that day, it was her previous race, the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga, that won Frankel over.

Frankel purchased You for owner Edmund Gann following her second start, a second-place finish behind Cashier's Dream in a June 20 allowance race at Churchill Downs.

"You always want to think you're buying a champion," Frankel said. "You always go in never really believing it."

Frankel had given You several weeks off to deal with "a little problem" before pointing to the Adirondack. He said he did not train the filly hard entering that race, but thought he had a chance to upset Cashier's Dream because of a seven-pound weight concession. What he didn't expect was the effort his filly put in.

You ran down Cashier's Dream in the final strides to win the 6 1/2-furlong race in a final time of 1:15.16.

"If you would have told me Cashier's Dream would run 1:15-and-one [fifth], and we were going to beat her, I would have said no way," Frankel said. "That's the race that shocked me."

Frankel has been pleased with You since the Frizette, saying she's hitting the ground "a lot better" than prior to the race.

"She's shown me a lot, this filly," Frankel said. "I don't know if there are too many better than her. She's got it all; she's got size, a great mind, she's easy to train. Everything about her is really good. There's not one knock about her."

Riding assignments are basically set for the Juvenile Fillies: You (Edgar Prado), Habibti (Victor Espinoza), Tempera (David Flores), Imperial Gesture (no rider), Take Charge Lady (Tony D'Amico), Bella Bellucci (Gary Stevens), Sophisticat (Michael Kinane), Jealous Forum (Patrick Husbands) and Shesastonecoldfox (Jerry Bailey).

Never Out, the runner-up in the Alcibiades, did not pre-enter for the Juvenile Fillies due to a wrenched ankle.

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