Classic Winner Just The Judge Eyes Beverly D.
Photo: AP Photo
Irish classic winner Just The Judge (right) tries for her first win of 2014 in the Beverly D.
Irish classic winner Just The Judge will try halt a six-race winless stretch in the $750,000 Beverly D. (gr. I) on the Arlington Million (gr. I) undercard Aug. 16 at Arlington International Racecourse
In 11 starts over three seasons, the 4-year-old Lawman filly has proven her class against some of Europe's best fillies, including a sharp victory in the 2013 Etihad Airways Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) and a runner-up performance to Sky Lantern in the English equivalent. She enters the Beverly D. after a useful third behind Thistle Bird and Venus de Milo in the June 29 Pretty Polly Stakes (Ire-I) at the Curragh--a performance that hinted she may be slowly coming back to the excellent form she showed in her first two seasons. 
"She's good and looks really well after the trip over," said Geoff Snook, traveling head lad for trainer Charlie Hills. "She was really ready to come out and do something this morning. She just stretched her legs and had a look. She can be a bit spritely when she's in a new space on her own, so we had the pony go with her."
Owned by Qatar Racing and the Sangster family, the earner of $556,286 will once again have the riding services of Jamie Spencer, who has ridden her in her previous eight races and is the retained rider of Qatar Racing. The Beverly D. looks to be one of the saltiest renewals in its 25 years, with six grade I or group I winners. Still, Snook was no less satisfied with what he saw on the Arlington turf the morning of Aug. 12. 
"She looked great this morning. It's the best she's moved," he said. "She's possibly better than before the Pretty Polly."
Though the bay filly won the Irish Guineas going one mile, her connections look forward to the longer 1 3/16-miles of Saturday's marquee filly and mare turf event. 
"I think she wants a mile and a quarter, now, as opposed to when she won over a mile in the Guineas last year," Snook said. "I think she wants that little bit extra as she's gotten older."
This year's edition of the Beverly D. also looks to have a variety of running styles throughout, including what could be a strong pace. A midpack runner, Just The Judge may benefit from such. 
"I think she needs a decent early gallop," Snook said. "I also think she needs more juice in the ground. Her 2-year-old form was more on softer ground. I think it allows her to let down (her stride) easier, plus it probably takes some of the finishing speed off the faster-finishing horses, as well. If it's 'proper good' ground, it'll be ideal."

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