Undefeated Maram got up to win the inaugural Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (VIDEO) by a nose in the final strides over Heart Shaped. The $1 million contest was the second Breeders’ Cup race Ladies Day on the two-day World Championships card at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Jose Lezcano for trainer Chad Brown, Maram was sent off at odds of 11-1 despite her flawless record, which includes a victory in the Oct. 1 Miss Grillo Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park. Second place finisher Heart Shaped, trained by Aidan O’Brien for Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Mrs. Maxwell Moran, was sent off at 10-1, while favored Laragh was bet down to 5-2.
"I put her right inside,” said Lezcano, who has lived in the United States for just four years and was experiencing his first ride in the Breeders’ Cup. “I had to wait a little bit, and when I got out, I said, 'I got a good chance in the race.' She came running; she kicked. When I asked her, I saw the other horse (Heart Shaped), and I said, 'I got it.'"
"It's unbelievable,” added Brown. “My grandfather passed last Tuesday and they told me they were going to lay him to rest today. And I couldn't be there, and I knew it meant we were going to win.
"(Maram) didn't get the respect she deserved because I ran her for a tag the first time," he continued. "But it really doesn't matter; the numbers said she was good enough.”
Breaking perfectly from the gate, Laragh coasted to an early lead with Renda a comfortable distance behind and set fractions of :22.53, :45.82, and 1:10.10 for six furlongs. Laragh, a daughter of Tapit , carried her lead into the stretch with Renda, C Karma, and Emmy Darling all within striking distance.
Coming from off the pace, Maram made her move at the top of the lane, in the final strides of the race while barely holding off a late challenge from Heart Shaped. Owned by Karen Woods and Saud bin Khaled, Maram completed the distance in 1:35.15. Heart Shaped, who also made a bold stretch run, was a length better than Laragh, who finished third. Saucey Evening was another length and a half back in fourth.
"She ran a great race, absolutely,” said trainer Aidan O’Brian of Heart Shaped. "We always thought she was a nice filly. I thought (jockey) Johnny (Murtagh) gave her a brilliant ride. She was closing all the time and she's a filly who has only been running five and six furlongs. She's a filly to look forward to next year now with this race."
The victory was the third in as many starts for Maram, a dark bay daughter of Sahm—American Dream, by Quest for Fame. Breaking her maiden at Saratoga Aug. 25, she also won the Miss Grillo under Lezcano.
Maram was consigned to the 2006 November mixed sale by Lane’s End, agent, but failed to meet her reserve when the bidding stopped at $9,500.
Bred in Kentucky by Palides Investments N. V and Hair ‘Em Corp, Maram is out of the winning Quest for Fame mare American Dreamer, who descends from the family of grade I-winning steeplechaser Hokan (g. by Trempolino). American Dreamer produced a filly by Ten Centuries April 21 and was bred to the same stallion for 2009.
|Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf|
|2. Heart Shaped||$11.60||$6.00|