10/25/2012 2:32PM

Golden Gate: Miss Empire tries to transfer main-track form to turf in Pike Place Dancer

Email
Shigeki Kikkawa
Miss Empire's only victory came in the Cinderella at Hollywood Park in June.

It’s conceivable that Miss Empire could have run next week in a Breeders’ Cup race instead of Saturday’s $100,000 Pike Place Dancer at Golden Gate Fields.

Miss Empire has the credentials to compete in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies or perhaps the Juvenile Fillies Turf, having won a stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park over the summer and finished third and fourth in Grade 1 stakes at Del Mar and Santa Anita. Instead, she will make her turf debut Saturday in the Pike Place Dancer, a one-mile race for 2-year-old fillies that is new to the Golden Gate stakes schedule.

Miss Empire’s main opponent among the six fillies in the Pike Place Dancer is Somethingabouther, who is already accomplished on turf and who was being considered for a run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Miss Empire is proven over synthetic and dirt surfaces. She graduated in the Cinderella in June at Hollywood Park, where she later ran third in the Landaluce. She was third against males in the Grade 2 Best Pal on the Polytrack at Del Mar, beaten 1 3/4 lengths by the winner, Know More, and fourth in the Del Mar Debutante there. In her last race. she finished third in the Grade 1 Chandelier on the dirt at Santa Anita on Sept. 29. Executiveprivilege, the likely favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, won both the Del Mar Debutante and the Chandelier.

Trainer Peter Miller said he’s been wanting to try Miss Empire on turf, and he didn’t want to run her in the Breeders’ Cup. Miss Empire has run all six of her races with the anti-bleeding medication Lasix, and the Breeders’ Cup has outlawed Lasix in the juvenile races this year.

“We could have run her in the Breeders’ Cup, but the owners decided against it with the no-Lasix rule,” said Miller, who calls the decision to outlaw Lasix “not in the best interest of the horse, owner, or betting public.”

Miller expects Miss Empire to take to the turf. She is by Empire Maker, and her dam, Miss Excitement, had 2 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds in 9 turf starts.

“She does have a turf pedigree, and she’s handled synthetics well,” he said. “Her style should fit, too.”

Somethingabouther won a maiden race on the turf at Indiana Downs in her debut and was second in a stakes on the turf at Colonial Downs in her second start. She was fifth in her California debut in the Sorrento Stakes on the main track at Del Mar and then ran seventh in the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar, but was beaten only two lengths. Somethingabouther then ran third in the $100,000 Surfer Girl on the grass at Santa Anita on Oct. 8, losing by four lengths after rallying wide.

Trainer Jim Cassidy said he was thinking about running Somethingabouther in the Breeders’ Cup, but, like Miller, he didn’t want to run his filly without Lasix.

“We had thought about that, that we might run in the Breeders’ Cup, but we didn’t want to risk running without Lasix,” Cassidy said.

The two Southern California invaders have four rivals: Butterfly Soul, who won the Phil D. Shepherd at Fairplex and makes her turf debut Saturday; Jesse’s Giacomo, a maiden-claiming winner at Del Mar; and two maidens, Peppery and Hot and Pleasing, who also is trained by Cassidy.