Janet has won two of the premier turf events for fillies and mares in California this year, but it appears she's not going to the Filly & Mare Turf. After a super last-to-first win in the grade I Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Santa Anita Park Sept. 29, trainer Darrell Vienna and owner Jed Cohen said they had no interest in paying a supplemental fee of 9% of the $1-million purse.
Meanwhile, on the East Coast that day, Lailani prepped for the Filly & Mare Turf with an in-hand victory in the grade I Flower Bowl Handicap at Belmont Park. It was perhaps the key prep given the fact it was held on the same course, and at the same distance (1 1/4 miles), as the Filly & Mare Turf.
Lailani, owned by Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum, is seven-for-seven this year. Jockey Jerry Bailey, who rode the Unfuwain filly for the first, said the effort should have her ready for the Oct. 27 World Thoroughbred Championships. England's Legend, in front in Flower Bowl until the final yards, is expected for the Filly & Mare Turf, trainer Christophe Clement said.
Janet, by Emperor Jones -- Bid Dancer, by Spectacular Bid, also won the grade I Ramona Handicap on the grass at Del Mar this year. In the Yellow Ribbon and the Ramona, she defeated Tranquility Lake, who could opt for the Distaff.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out: Janet could run in the grade I Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park in late November, and should she win, she could stake a claim for divisional honors without having competed in the Filly & Mare Turf.
In the Sept. 29 E.P. Taylor Stakes, another top event for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles on the turf at Woodbine, European shippers finished one-two-three. The winner, Irish-bred Choc Ice, by Kahyasi, netted her first graded or group victory. Volga and Spring Oak, both trained by Andre Fabre, finished second and third, respectively.
The grade II WinStar Galaxy Stakes, for fillies and mares at 1 3/16 miles on the turf at Keeneland, is next up Oct. 5, opening day of the fall meet. Tout Charmant, who won the race last year, is expected back, along with Solvig, Spook Express, and perhaps Nuit de Siam (Vienna) and Penny's Gold (Clement).
Last year, Tout Charmant used the Keeneland race as a springboard to a second-place finish, only three-quarters of a length behind Perfect Sting, in the Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs. Because of the track configuration, last year's Filly & Mare Turf was run at 1 3/8 miles, a furlong shorter than this year.