Despite being listed at 30-1 on the morning line and never having competed in a graded stakes event, Smarty Deb is anything but a Cinderella story for the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
"Being the so-called Cinderella story is where we are coming from. No horse has ever come out of Emerald Downs to a Breeders' Cup race," said jockey Ricky Frazier, who will ride Smarty Deb for trainer Doris Harwood and owner Jerry Paxon's Northwest Farm. "It is not the horse, and it is certainly not the breeding. No filly had ever won the Gottstein at Emerald, but she did it. This is a legitimate filly."
The daughter of Smart Strike out of the Wild Again mare Taste the Passion is a perfect four-for-four at her Emerald Downs base and has a three-length win at the Juvenile Fillies' 1 1/16-mile distance.
Smarty Deb broke her maiden at first asking going 4 1/2 furlongs, and next scored her first black-type win in the Angie Stakes. She then registered a 5 3/4-length win in the Barbara Shinpoch Stakes before beating the boys going 1 1/16 miles by three lengths in the Gottstein Futurity.
"We knew she could run from the very first time," said Frazier. "Doris said she believed she was going to be her best filly ever, and she has had some really nice horses.
"When I rode her the first time it was all she could do to win, and the horse that she beat a head was a colt," Frazier continued. "They didn't have a filly race, so they ran her against the colts. Each race and each further distance she has been a little more; she has showed off more. She was able to show that she was clearly better than all the horses at Emerald. There wasn't a colt or filly that could stand up to her."
Sizing up the competition in the Juvenile Fillies, Frazier said, "Nobody brought a horse that can't win. You look at the field; most times when you see a big field and big race, you see four horses or five horses max that can win it and the rest of them are just trying to run the biggest race of their life. You look at this field and there are 13 horses than can win it."
Another plus in the column for Smarty Deb could be the wet track conditions."I'm not saying the weather is going to move us up a bunch, but it is not going to slow us down," he said.