11/03/2010 11:53AM

Theyskens' Theory switches to dirt in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies

Barbara D. Livingston
Theyskens’ Theory is a group stakes winner in England but will race on dirt for the first time Friday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Owner Andrew Rosen hopes that Breeders’ Cup success runs in the family.

Twenty-six years ago, Rosen’s family won the first-ever Breeders’ Cup race when Chief’s Crown took the 1984 Juvenile at Hollywood Park. Five years ago, Merv Griffin’s Stevie Wonderboy won the 22nd Juvenile at Belmont Park.

On Friday, Rosen will send out Theyskens’ Theory – a half-sister to Stevie Wonderboy – in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs. The Juvenile Fillies, run at 1 1/16 miles over the main track, drew a field of 13 with no clear-cut favorite. A Z Warrior, winner of the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont last month, was listed as the 7-2 morning-line favorite. Last year, in a 12-horse field, Blind Luck was sent off at 7-2, the longest-priced favorite in the history of the race. She finished third behind She Be Wild, a 7-1 shot.

Theyskens’ Theory, named for clothing designer Olivier Theyskens's latest fashion line as well as Rosen’s own clothing company Theory, is listed at 10-1 on the morning line. She is a daughter of 2006 Preakness and Travers winner Bernardini, who in his first crop has sired nine winners, including A Z Warrior.

Theyskens’ Theory, trained by Brian Meehan, won 2 of 4 starts – all on turf – in Europe, including the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood. In her most recent start, Theyskens’ Theory finished third in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Ascot. Since her pedigree suggests she should handle the dirt, Rosen and Meehan opted for the Juvenile Fillies over the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“After the Fillies’ Mile, Brian and I got together and thought she came out of the race so good and she really has been training good, maybe we’d try the Breeders’ Cup,” Rosen said. “If you look at her pedigree, it suggests she’s bred for the dirt more so than turf.”

Frankie Dettori will ride Theyskens’ Theory from post 2.

Rosen is hoping Theyskens’ Theory makes the same move forward from turf to dirt that A Z Warrior did from synthetic to dirt when she won the Grade 1 Frizette by 1 3/4 lengths at Belmont last month. A Z Warrior raced close to a strong early pace before opening up a four-length lead in midstretch and holding off a late run from R Heat Lightning.

A Z Warrior, trained by two-time Juvenile Fillies winner Bob Baffert, will try to stretch her speed around two turns, something Baffert doesn’t seem too concerned about.

“She looked pretty good going a mile, didn’t she?” Baffert said. “It’s another sixteenth of a mile, what the hell, right? She’s maturing, she’s got a great mind, professional.”

R Heat Lightning, who won the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga, had a tough trip in the Frizette. She broke inward from the rail and was bottled up along the inside for a good part of the trip before finding running room late.

“I think we ran the best horse in the Frizette,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains R Heat Lightning for Joyce Robsham. “When she didn’t break well, she put herself in a tough spot. What I did like, in spite of that and being covered up and having to wait for a long time, she showed a lot of determination the last eighth of a mile.”

Tell a Kelly won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante by 4 1/2 lengths. The Debutante produced five next-out winners, including three who won Grade 1 stakes. Tell a Kelly finished second in the Oak Leaf as the 1-2 favorite in a race where her trainer, John Sadler, thought his filly moved a little early. Calvin Borel replaces Alonso Quinonez for the Juvenile Fillies.

Awesome Feather is 5 for 5, with four stakes wins, including a dominant 8 1/4-length victory in the My Dear Girl Stakes at Calder on Oct. 16, her first time going long.

“We thought she’d run good going long,” trainer Stanley Gold said. “Obviously, we’re going against the best in her class. I feel confident she’s going to give her best effort, and we’ll see if her best effort is in tune with the competition.”

Joyful Victory was a debut winner going two turns at Delaware Park before running third in the Grade 1 Frizette, a one-turn mile, at Belmont. Trainer Tony Dutrow believes the two turns is a major plus for his filly, who is a daughter of Tapit.

“The biggest thing that led us to the Breeders’ Cup was the fact it’s a two-turn race,” said Dutrow, who trains Joyful Victory for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm. “If it had been a one-turn race, I would not have brought it to my client.”

Believe in A.P. won a two-turn maiden race by 12 3/4 lengths at Parx Racing near Philadelphia after floundering on turf in Saratoga.

There appears to be some speed in the field with Soundwave and A Z Warrior likely to be forwardly placed. Indian Gracey also would have figured up front but trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Thursday that she would be scratched with a sore right front foot.

Delightful Mary, Harlan’s Ruby, Izshelegal, and Jordy Y round out the field.