Top barns, classy fillies.
This year’s $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) doesn’t figure to be one of the more intriguing betting races during the 2012 World Championships at Santa Anita Park, but it will feature one of the best East vs. West confrontations.
Executiveprivilege, 5-for-5 to begin her career in California for trainer Bob Baffert, takes on the unbeaten New York-based Frizette Stakes (gr. I) winner Dreaming of Julia from the Todd Pletcher stable.
There were eight 2-year-old fillies entered in this year’s 1 1/16-mile event, which goes as the seventh race on the Nov. 2 program with an approximate post of 3:08 p.m. PDT. All will be racing without Lasix, no doubt a factor in the small field, and there are no European-based entrants this year.
Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, Executiveprivilege is the 2-1 morning-line favorite off her smashing 6 1/4-length win in the Chandelier (gr. I), formerly the Oak Leaf, on Sept. 29.
The race was her first try on the dirt and her initial route effort, and the daughter of First Samurai passed the test with flying colors. A filly that likes to stalk and pounce, she instead went to the lead in the Chandelier and simply ran her opponents off their feet while completing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.95.
It was her second grade I win in a row following a victory in the seven-furlong Del Mar Debutante, in which she was all out to defeat Juvenile Fillies entrant Beholder by a nose on Polytrack.
Executiveprivilege, whose six-furlong workout Oct. 27 in 1:14 1/5 was criticized by some, has been an odds-on choice in every one of her starts.
Stonestreet Stables’ homebred Dreaming of Julia won her first two starts in New York by a combined margin of nearly 27 lengths. In the four-horse Frizette, a one-turn mile at Belmont Park Oct. 6, she was 1-10 on the tote board. But she had all she could handle in edging My Happy Face by a head in a tense stretch duel. The game A.P. Indy lass will now try two turns for the first time.
Pletcher, who is yet to win the Juvenile Fillies in his career, also entered Stonestreet's undefeated Kauai Katie. She comes off a 7 1/2-length win in Belmont’s five-horse Matron Stakes (gr. II) Sept. 30. The brilliant Malibu Moon miss, who also won the Adirondack (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course, is 3-for-3 and will be making her first start beyond 6 1/2 furlongs.
Beholder, owned by B. Wayne Hughes, had first preference in the Juvenile Sprint but trainer Richard Mandella called an audible and placed the speedy filly in the longer race instead. Beholder demolished an allowance field at Santa Anita by 11 lengths in her most recent start Oct. 4 going six furlongs.
Kauai Katie and Beholder should ensure a quick pace.
John Oxley’s Spring in the Air won the Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) on Polytrack at Keeneland Oct. 5 and will be making her first start on dirt. The Mark Casse-trained daughter of Spring At Last has posted two wins and two seconds in four races.
Gem Racing’s Renee's Queen broke her maiden winning the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf in her fourth start Sept. 3 at Del Mar and will also make her first start on dirt for Eric Guillot. Wesley Ward chose this spot over his first preference in the Juvenile Sprint for Almost an Angel. Alcibiades runner-up Broken Spell, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, completes the field.
Lukas has won the Juvenile Filies a record five times, most recently with Folklore in 2005.
|Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Nov. 2 3:08 PM PDT
||Richard E. Mandella
||Spring in the Air
||Mark E. Casse
||Eric J. Guillot
||Dreaming of Julia
||Todd A. Pletcher
||Almost an Angel
||Wesley A. Ward
||D. Wayne Lukas
||Todd A. Pletcher