10/29/2014 2:18PM

Pedigree analysis: Juvenile Fillies favorite Angela Renee stands out

Barbara D. Livingston
Angela Renee, already a Grade 1 winner at Santa Anita, is a full sister to multiple Grade 1 winner To Honor and Serve

The field for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies includes three entrants – Angela Renee, Cristina’s Journey, and Puca – who already have won at the race distance of 1 1/16 miles. Angela Renee and Cristina’s Journey’s wins came at the graded stakes level, and the former’s score in the Grade 1 Chandelier at Santa Anita on Sept. 27 will likely make her the favorite in the Juvenile Fillies. What’s more, that filly’s bloodlines make her even more formidable in the race that will likely determine year-end divisional championship honors.

Angela Renee is by champion Bernardini, whose wins as a 3-year-old in 2006 included the 1 1/4-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup and Travers Stakes, as well as the 1 3/16-mile Preakness. Out of the stakes-winning Deputy Minister mare Pilfer, Angela Renee is a full sister to To Honor and Serve, a multiple Grade 1 winner and earner of over $1.7 million. Now a young stallion at Gainesway, To Honor and Serve was a graded stakes winner at 1 1/8 miles each season he raced, winning the Remsen Stakes at 2, the Pennsylvania Derby at 3, and the Woodward Stakes at 4. Pilfer is a half-sister to India, a Grade 2 winner at 1 1/16 miles, and to European stakes-winning turf sprinter Sing Softly.

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Chandelier runner-up Conquest Eclipse also deserves consideration based on pedigree. Like Angela Renee, she is the daughter of an A.P. Indy-line sire, in this case, Malibu Moon – and while her dam, the Repriced mare Grand Traverse Bay, was unraced, that mare is a half-sister to Sweet Damsel. The latter produced Travers winner and young sire Colonel John and Mr. Hot Stuff, Grade 1-placed on the flat before making a successful transition into steeplechasing.

Among the East Coast invaders, Eclipse Thoroughbreds’ Feathered is a win candidate based on her solid bloodlines; one might be willing to chalk up her third in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont on Oct. 12 to a distaste for the off track. The filly is from the final crop of Indian Charlie, and out of the stakes-placed Dynaformer mare Receipt, a winner at 1 1/16 miles. Her second dam, Finder’s Fee, by Storm Cat, won the Acorn Stakes and Matron, both Grade 1 stakes at one mile, and her third dam, Fantastic Find, by Mr. Prospector, won the Grade 1 Hempstead at 1 1/8 miles. Fantastic Find produced top-class steeplechase horse Tax Ruling as well as Indy Pick, the dam of graded stakes-winning turf router Optimizer.

Intriguing longshot options from a pedigree standpoint include Puca, who won a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight at Belmont by 16 lengths on Oct. 1. Puca is by Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown and out of the stakes-placed Silver Ghost mare Boat’s Ghost, the dam of Finnegan’s Wake. That horse has been a regular presence in 1 1/4-mile turf events over the past couple of years, winning the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap earlier this year at that distance. He is entered in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

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Take Charge Brandi, owned by Willis Horton, has been heading in the wrong direction after showing promise earlier this summer at Saratoga, but the filly is by stamina sire Giant’s Causeway and boasts Grade 1 winner Take Charge Lady as her second dam. Take Charge Lady has produced champion, Travers winner, and Classic runner-up Will Take Charge, as well as Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy in addition to Take Charge Brandi’s winning dam Charming, by Seeking the Gold.

Another outsider, Hennythelovepenny, enters the Juvenile Fillies off of a 6 1/2-length romp in a seven-furlong maiden at Santa Anita on Oct. 12. Although light in the Beyer department compared with most of the other starters, the daughter of Henny Hughes – sire of 2012 Juvenile Fillies and 2013 Distaff winner Beholder – has a somewhat esoteric female line that nonetheless provides a good foundation for stretching out. Through a line starting from her third dam, the Group 3-winning Nashua mare Bubinka, Hennythelovepenny is related to current Hong Kong Horse of the Year Designs on Rome, winner of the Group 1 QE II Cup earlier this year at about 1 1/4 miles; Irish Derby and Gold Cup winner Grey Swallow; and to Italian St. Leger winner Rock of Romance, among several other long-winded types.