Updated on 09/17/2011 5:52PM

Sweet Catomine beats girls, eyes boys

Sweet Catomine (right), with Corey Nakatani up, wins the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Saturday at Lone Star Park.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - As the horses were leaving the paddock for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile - about 2 1/2 hours after his Sweet Catomine had won the Juvenile Fillies - trainer Julio Canani was asked about the prospect of pointing Sweet Catomine to the 2005 Kentucky Derby.

"Why not?" Canani said as the Juvenile runners paraded by. "I never run fillies against colts, but this year the way the fillies have been running and the colts have been running I think the fillies are more impressive than the colts. Now I'm going to look like a jerk."

Hardly. After European invader Wilko upset the $1.5 million Juvenile in a slower time than Sweet Catomine won the Juvenile Fillies, the prospects of pointing Sweet Catomine to the Derby became more intriguing.

Naturally, things change drastically between the last Saturday in October and the first Saturday in May, but Sweet Catomine has the look and the pedigree to run 1 1/4 miles. Sweet Catomine is by Storm Cat out of the mare Sweet Life, a stakes winner who finished second in the Grade 1 Beverly Hills Handicap at 10 furlongs.

In winning the Juvenile Fillies by 3 3/4 lengths, Sweet Catomine also showed a great deal of athleticism to go along with her size and scope. Jockey Corey Nakatani had to check Sweet Catomine fairly hard approaching the five-sixteenths pole. But Sweet Catomine recovered quickly and when she came into the stretch, she was three wide and in the clear.

Sweet Catomine accelerated past Sis City and Balletto inside the final furlong and romped to a most impressive victory the $1 million at Lone Star Park. Balletto finished second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Runway Model. Sis City, who set much of the pace, finished fourth.

Sweet Catomine added the Juvenile Fillies to victories in the Del Mar Debutante and Oak Leaf Stakes. She is a virtual certainty to become the 18th Juvenile Fillies winner to earn an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly.

"She is very talented," said Canani, who won his third career Breeders' Cup race. "Right away to gather herself and accelerate, there's no question she is very, very special."

Sweet Catomine, owned and bred by Marty and Pam Wygod, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.65, the second-fastest of 17 Juvenile Fillies run at this distance. By comparison, Wilko covered the same distance in the Juvenile in 1:42.09. It was the fourth straight year - and seventh time in Breeders' Cup history - that the Juvenile Fillies was run faster than the Juvenile. Sweet Catomine returned $6.60 as the 2-1 favorite.

"She left them in the stretch like she was breathing different air than they were," Marty Wygod said.

Nakatani, the rider of Sweet Catomine, had ridden Balletto when she won the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont and said he would have liked to have ridden her back, but had already committed to Sweet Catomine. Jerry Bailey rode Balletto, who was no match for Sweet Catomine in the stretch.

"These are two very special fillies," Nakatani said. "This afternoon, we were lucky enough to get the better of it. We had a little trouble, obviously. Jerry was riding a good race, I was just inside of him. I had to check a little bit, but she's such a good filly she could overcome what happened this afternoon."

Sweet Catomine returned to California on Sunday and will not run again until next year. Her connections will have a bevy of races from which to choose to begin her 3-year-old career.

Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum of Darley Stable will decide future plans for Balletto, trainer Tom Albertrani said.

"She'll most likely stop this year," Albertrani said. "Sheikh Mohammed will decide in a few days. He'll decide which coast, which country. He'll decide the future plans. It's strictly his decision."

Sense of Style, the Spinaway and Matron winner, finished ninth as the 7-2 second choice in the Juvenile Fillies. She lunged at the start, was bumped, and never mounted a serious challenge.

"I think at this level, you have to have everything go perfect," trainer Patrick Biancone said. "You can't miss the start . . . You're done."

Sense of Style will winter in Southern California.