08/30/2012 1:36PM

Del Mar: Debutante gives Executiveprivilege chance to enhance status as West's top 2-year-old filly

Benoit & Associates
Executiveprivilege will try to extend her win streak to four in the Debutante.

DEL MAR, Calif. – She has a perfect record after three starts, comes from a top stable, and will be ridden by the leading jockey.

Executiveprivilege seems to have everything in her favor going into Saturday’s $300,000 Del Mar Debutante for 2-year-old fillies.

At stake is a chance to enhance her status as a top contender for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. But that race was not foremost on trainer Bob Baffert’s mind earlier this week – at least not publicly.

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“It’s one race at a time,” he said. “They get tougher as they go along. So far, she’s doing really well.

“She should run her race.”

That serves as a warning that Executiveprivilege is doing well enough to win the Del Mar Debutante, which is run over seven furlongs. The race drew a field of nine. Executiveprivilege is one of two stakes winners in the field, along with Miss Empire, who won the Cinderella Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park in June.

Executiveprivilege is the leading 2-year-old filly in California. Her price on Saturday will reflect that. She will be odds-on.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano, who leads the standings at Del Mar this summer, rides Executiveprivilege for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, who purchased her for $650,000 at the Ocala Breeders sale of 2-year-olds in training in April.

Bejarano was aboard for Executiveprivilege’s maiden race win in June and her two stakes wins – the Landaluce Stakes over six furlongs at Hollywood Park on July 14 and the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 8.

In each race, Executiveprivilege came from off the pace, took the lead in the final furlong, and pulled clear in the last sixteenth to win comfortably. In the maiden race, she broke slowly but recovered quickly to win by 4 1/2 lengths, confirming she was a filly to watch.

Nothing has changed in the last two months.

Trainer Peter Miller has three fillies entered in the Debutante – Heir Kitty, Miss Empire, and Speedinthruthecity. He said earlier this week that Speedinthruthecity could be scratched in favor of the $100,000 Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf on Monday.

Miller knows he must see improvement from his runners to beat Executiveprivilege. He said that Heir Kitty or Speedinthruthecity would have excellent chances to win “but Miss Empire is getting better every week.”

“We have to let our fillies run their races and move forward and hope that [Executiveprivilege] doesn’t,” he said.

Richard Mandella starts the maiden race winner Beholder.

“We’ve got to worry about that filly of Baffert’s,” Mandella said. “She’s a little pro. I think she’s very good.”

Beholder beat maidens in her last start, on July 22. She is one of three fillies in the field to have won a maiden race in her last start, joined by the promising fillies Mechaya and Pat’s Back.

Beholder drew the outside post and is likely to be stalking the pace.

“She can probably sit and see what happens – if she can outrun that other horse,” he said, referring to Executiveprivilege. “I’d be happy to run second after she just broke her maiden. She’s trained very well and hopefully she can run that way.”