10/20/2009 11:00PM

Italian tour serves as good prep


Junia Tepzia will add some international flair to next month's $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita. The undefeated Irish-bred is invading from her base in Germany for the race, following back-to-back wins in Italy.

"We've got everything all set," said Barry Irwin, a principal of the Team Valor partnership, which owns Junia Tepzia.

Irwin said Junia Tepzia is scheduled to arrive in California on Nov. 1. She will ridden by Kieren Fallon, and is trained by the German-based Peter Schiergen. Earlier this month, Fallon guided the Team Valor-owned Gitano Hernando to victory in the Grade 1 Goodwood at Santa Anita.

Team Valor purchased Junia Tepzia privately following her debut win at Merano Racecourse in South Tyrol, Italy. In her first start for the group she won the $91,000 Premio Coolmore, a 7 1/2-furlong turf race at San Siro in Milan on Oct. 3.

Irwin said Junia Tepzia broke on top in the listed stakes, was taken back about three or four lengths off the pace, then moved up on her own en route to a 3 1/4-length win.

Following the race, the decision was made to supplement Junia Tepzia to the Breeders' Cup at a cost of $90,000.

"She's got a good turn of foot and her Timeform rating came back as a 105, which is very good for a 2-year-old filly, second start of her life," Irwin said.

Irwin also noted racing in Italy and California share some similarities, like sunny climates and firm courses. Both of Junia Tepzia's wins have come on firm ground, he said. In addition, Irwin pointed out that Junia Tepzia is by a red-hot sire in Rock of Gibraltar.

During one week earlier this month, the stallion's offspring won three Grade 1 races: Diamondrella at Keeneland, Varenar in France, and Rock Kingdom in Australia.

Motion has pair to pre-enter

Trainer Graham Motion said this week that he plans to pre-enter Smart Seattle and Zilva in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Both horses last raced at Keeneland, with Smart Seattle finishing second by a nose in the off-the-turf $150,000 Jessamine and Zilva running fourth in the Grade 1 Alcibiades.

The fillies were scheduled to fly to California on Wednesday. Motion said a final decision on their status would be made based on how they train at Santa Anita, with one of them potentially coming under consideration for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.