10/03/2010 5:41PM

Winter Memories draws away in Miss Grillo

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Winter Memories draws away to a 5 1/4-length victory in Sunday's Grade 3 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont Park

ELMONT, N.Y. – Winter Memories made an electrifying move from the quarter pole to the eighth pole that not only carried her to an eye-catching victory in Sunday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont Park but may have made her the favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf next month at Churchill Downs.

Second-to-last on two occasions during the race, Winter Memories, under Jose Lezcano, made a seven-wide move turning for home, slingshotted past pacesetter Fancy Point at the eighth pole, and then drew off to a 5 1/4-length victory. Arch Support a 50-1 shot, got up in the final strides by a nose over Fancy Point for second.

The Miss Grillo was a Win and You’re In race, meaning Winter Memories gained an automatic berth into the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf on Nov. 5 at Churchill. It remains to be seen what horses will ship in from Europe for that race, but Jimmy Toner, the trainer of Winter Memories said “they better be ready.”

Toner has every reason to be confident after the move Winter Memories made in the Miss Grillo.

Tenth of 11 down the backside, Miss Grillo appeared ready to launch a bid at the five-furlong pole as she passed two horses. But Lezcano took a hold of Winter Memories and brought her back to 10th position entering the far turn.

Midway around the turn, Lezcano let Winter Memories go, but she had to swing seven wide turning for home. She accelerated past Fancy Point outside the eighth pole and won easily, despite switching to her wrong lead.

“At the five-eighths, I was behind horses,” Lezcano said. “I put her out in the clear, she took the bit she wanted to go. I had to take a hold of her again. I waited for the quarter pole to swing out, and she kicked very good. She’s a very nice filly.”

Winter Memories, a daughter of El Prado out of the Grade 1-winning mare Memories of Silver, covered the 1 1/8 miles over a yielding Widener turf course in 1:45.69. Her time was 2.18 seconds faster than Air Support’s final time for the same distance over the inner turf winning the Pilgrim. She paid $4.90.

“The way she opened up, the last part of it was really impressive, but that thing around the turn made me a little nervous to say the least,” Toner said.