Updated on 09/15/2011 2:03PM

Countdown to the Cup: Juvenile Fillies (9/20)


In 14 of 17 years, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies has been crowned divisional champion.

This year, Barry Irwin would like to make the race moot.

Irwin is head of the Team Valor syndicate that owns Cashier's Dream, the winner of the Grade 1 Spinaway and arguably the top Eastern-based juvenile filly. She is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup and would have to be supplemented at a cost of $90,000. While Irwin has not totally ruled out supplementing, he has already been there and done that with an unpleasant taste.

In 1991, Team Valor supplemented Star of Cozzene to the Mile at a cost of $120,000. The horse earned exactly the fee back by finishing third, but by the time Irwin paid the trainer and jockey, he and his partners lost money.

"You got to be nutty enough to own horses and then when you have to write a check like that and you got to win or run second to justify it, how much is ego and how much of it makes sense?" Irwin said.

Toward that end, Irwin is hoping that Cashier's Dream can win the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont on Oct. 6 impressively enough where "maybe it doesn't matter who wins the Breeders' Cup, we can become the champion," Irwin said.

Cashier's Dream has won four of five starts including the Grade 3 Debutante and Grade 1 Spinaway. Her only loss came by a neck to You in the Grade 2 Adirondack. With the cancellation of last Saturday's Matron, You will be forced to run in the Frizette, according to trainer Bobby Frankel.

Frankel said he believes New York Racing Association officials "made a huge mistake" by not bringing back four of the canceled stakes from last weekend. Frankel now worries about You having too difficult a race just three weeks out from the Breeders' Cup.

Initially, the Frizette was to have also featured Habibti, winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante. But, trainer Bob Baffert said Wednesday that he would keep the Tabasco Cat filly in California for the Grade 1 Oak Leaf on Sept. 30.

Eoin Harty, Baffert's former assistant, has two potential Juvenile Fillies starters in Tempera, the Sorrento Stakes winner, and Imperial Gesture, an impressive allowance winner at Saratoga. Imperial Gesture is scheduled to run in Saturday's Arlington-Lassie Stakes while plans for Tempera were uncertain.

Steve Asmussen, who trains Cashier's Dream, may have a horse for the Juvenile Fillies even if she does not run. Asmussen is sending Miss Indiana out in Saturday's Arlington-Washington Lassie. A daughter of Clever Trick, Miss Indiana is 2 for 2 for OceanFrontProperty Stable. Asmussen said should Miss Indiana run well at Arlington, he would wheel her back in the Walmac International Alcibiades at Keeneland on Oct. 5.

On Wednesday, at Belmont, Cherokee Girl won a seven-furlong allowance race by eight lengths. Trainer Frank Alexander said he would point Cherokee Girl to the Astarita on Oct. 8 and, if she was to run well there, possibly the Breeders' Cup. Alexander trained Cherokee Girl's sire, Cherokee Run, to victory in the 1994 Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Smok'n Frolic, runner-up to Cashier's Dream in the Spinaway, is expected to make her next start in the Alcibiades at Keeneland, trainer Todd Pletcher said.