11/02/2010 3:39PM

Tell a Kelly set to make amends in Juvenile Fillies

Benoit & Associates
Tell a Kelly, Alonso Quinonez up, wins the Darley Debutante.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Tell a Kelly disappointed those handicappers who made her the 1-2 favorite in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf at Hollywood Park five weeks ago. Those willing to forgive her loss to Rigoletta in that race could make their money back and then some when she runs back in Friday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.

Tell a Kelly, who won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante in September, was made the 9-2 third choice on Mike Battaglia’s morning line after drawing post 12 of 13 in the Juvenile Fillies, to be run at 1 1/16 miles. A Z Warrior, one of Tell a Kelly’s victims in the Del Mar Debutante who came back to win the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont, was made the 7-2 morning-line favorite. She will break from post 8. R Heat Lightning, who was a troubled second in the Frizette, was made the 4-1 second choice after drawing post 3.

Tell a Kelly was dominant in the Del Mar Debutante, winning by 4 1/2 lengths. Five of the nine horses she beat that day have come back to win, including three who won Grade 1 stakes.

Rigoletta was one of those horses, and she outfinished Tell a Kelly in deep stretch to win the Oak Leaf by a half-length. Rigoletta subsequently got hurt and was forced to miss the Breeders’ Cup.

John Sadler, the trainer of Tell a Kelly, said there may have been a couple of reasons she came up short in the Oak Leaf.

“Before the Oak Leaf I trained her a little bit harder and worked her in company, and I think it kind of threw her off a little bit,” Sadler said. “She got pretty washy before the race. We thought she ran well; we thought maybe the boy moved a little bit early as she’s kind of a one-run filly. She’s a good, gutty filly. She’s coming up to this race in good shape.”

Sadler shipped Tell a Kelly – as well as his other Breeders’ Cup horses – to Churchill Downs well in advance to get accustomed to the dirt track. Tell a Kelly has worked three times over the main track, but Sadler said she’s not a good work horse.

“If you look at her first race she was 25-1 because she didn’t blow anybody away in the mornings,” he said.

Sadler has tabbed Calvin Borel to ride Tell a Kelly in the Juvenile Fillies.

Sadler said Tell a Kelly would benefit from a strong pace in front of her, which she could get with A Z Warrior, Indian Gracey, and Soundwave in the field.