10/20/2008 11:00PM

Laragh heads Juvenile Fillies Turf


The quality of the race? Who can say right now. But in terms of numbers, the inaugural edition of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf was a hit, drawing a full field of 12, with two also-eligibles, when final entries were taken Tuesday. A 15th horse, Screen Gem, was excluded from the race.

There were no surprise entries or defections here, and with Oui Say Oui not entered, and Evita Argentina and Dream Empress going into the Juvenile Fillies, room was made for Sugar Mom and Saucey Evening - both of whom look like win threats - and April Pride in the one-mile grass race's main body. Atka and Internallyflawless are the also-eligibles.

In a race lacking much established form, Laragh figures to be favored off an easy win in the Jessamine Stakes on Oct. 9 at Keeneland. Laragh went straight to the front that day under Edgar Prado and should assume a prominent position from the start Friday after breaking from post 2.

"She's a forward kind of horse," trainer John Terranova said.

One-mile turf races here at Santa Anita have a very short run into the first turn and that could trouble the horses drawn on the far outside. Heart Shaped, an Aidan O'Brien-trained filly, drew post 12; Saucey Evening, who looked good working on turf here Monday, has the 11 post; another European horse, the Group 1-placed Beyond Our Reach, did little better, landing post 10.

In fact, the entire Juvenile Fillies Turf field looks light on demonstrable accomplishment. Only six of the horses entered have won more than one race. Six more have only a maiden win on their resume, and two others go into this $1 million race as maidens. The 2-year-old filly turf division in North America hardly has an established pattern of graded stakes racing, and just two of the fillies entered have won a graded race of any sort: C Karma captured the Natalma, a Grade 3 at Woodbine, in her most recent race, while Maram won the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont. Maram, it should be noted, made her only other start in a $75,000 maiden-claiming race at Saratoga.