The original holiday feature, the $150,000 Pebbles for three-year-old fillies going one mile on the Widener turf, will also be contested as scheduled.
Preps for the corresponding Breeders' Cup juvenile grass races, the Pilgrim and Miss Grillo, both at 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf, feature highly competitive fields. Trainer Chad Brown will be well represented in both stakes, saddling two in the Pilgrim and three in the Miss Grillo, for fillies.
Brown's Pilgrim pair are Noble Tune, a dominating 3 1/2-length debut winner at Saratoga on Labor Day, and Saint Vigeur, a maiden who rallied for second in his Saratoga debut on August 25.
Other last-out maiden winners in the Pilgrim are Quinzieme Monarque, who rolled by nearly five lengths over the Widener turf in his third career start; Read the Proposal, who blasted New York-bred company by 8 1/2 lengths in an off-the-turf event at Saratoga; and Team Valor's Cerro, who shocked at 36-1 in his June 3 debut at San Siro in Milan, Italy.
A trio of contenders enter with stakes experience. The Todd Pletcher-trained Notacatbutallama was an even fourth in the Grade 2 With Anticipation last time after racing wide around both turns. The Mike Repole colorbearer previously crushed New York-bred maiden foes by 6 1/2 lengths.
Special Skills prevailed in a maiden during the Belmont spring meet, and then shipped to Delaware Park for the August 4 Nick Shuk Memorial. Despite leading gate-to-wire to win by a nose, the Bernstein colt was demoted to second for impeding the runner-up during the stretch run.
Rounding out the main body of the field is West Hills Giant, who makes his open company debut after taking the New York Breeders' Futurity at Finger Lakes.
Entered for the main track only are maiden winners Bernie the Jet and James Jingle.
Brown's trio for the Miss Grillo includes Watsdachances, who came off a four-month layoff to capture the P.G. Johnson by a neck at Saratoga. It was the first U.S. appearance for the Diamond Green filly, who had broken her maiden at Naas in Ireland in late April.
Brown also saddles Wave Theory, a neck second to returning foe Summer of Fun in her debut at the Spa, and Atlantic Dream, a half-sister to Grade 3 winners Icy Atlantic and Wild Promises who was a troubled fourth in her debut last time.
Summer of Fun was a disappointing 10th of 14 in the Grade 2 Natalma at Woodbine last month. Also hoping to rebound from a poor Natalma showing is Fearless Jacq, a Newmarket debut winner who wilted to 12th after making a middle move.
Others to watch for in the field of 12 are Widener turf debut winner Fly Again, the Dale Romans-trained Saratoga maiden winner Sustained, and Laurel graduate Three Hearts, a half-sister to 2010 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Pluck.
Both the Pilgrim and Miss Grillo are "Win and You're In" Breeders' Cup preps. However, under Breeders' Cup Challenge rules, if either race is taken off the turf and run on the main track, the race winner will not earn the automatic berth or the free entry and travel benefits into the corresponding Breeders' Cup World Championships race.
Pletcher holds a strong hand in the Pebbles with Peace Preserver, runner-up in the Riskaverse and Desert Vixen in her last two, and Channel Lady, who returned from a layoff of more than eight months to impressively take a Saratoga allowance by two lengths on September 1.
More Than Love, a Grade 3 winner last year, makes her first start since May. Prior to the layoff, the John Terranova pupil threw in two clunkers following a photo-finish beat in the Florida Oaks.
Assateague is a potential threat to wire the Pebbles field despite faltering in the Riskaverse last time, while Filare l'Oro, Ainsley and Ski Holiday have sufficient stakes experience to make an impact. Welcome Guest, runner-up in the Grade 3 Comely last spring, is entered for the main track only.