Grass Stars Likely to Emerge in Miss Grillo
by Steve Haskin
Date Posted: 10/3/2013 6:09:00 PM
Last Updated: 10/5/2013 1:56:19 PM

Granny Mc's Kitten wins the 2013 P. G. Johnson Stakes.
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Photo: Coglianese Photos

Somewhere in the 12-horse field of the $200,000 Miss Grillo Stakes (gr. IIIT) one would think there is a budding turf star who will have a major impact on the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT).

All but one of the 2-year-old fillies entered in the 1 1/16-mile race at Belmont Park Oct. 6 has shown great promise on the grass, with the exception being Godolphin’s Dancing House. She is the only starter with grade I experience, having finished third in the Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in the slop.

After last year’s impressive victory by the French-trained Flotilla in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, one must respect any youngster who comes to the States to compete on the grass. The Miss Grillo has attracted the first one in French-bred and trained Testa Rossi, who is riding a three-race winning streak and has been turned over to Chad Brown. Jose Lezcano has the mount on the daughter of Dr. Fong who gets Lasix for the first time.

In addition to Testa Rossi, there are seven fillies that are coming off a victory, six of them in maiden races and oneGranny Mc's Kittenin the P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga, which she won by 1 3/4 lengths over Duff One, who also has been entered.

Granny Mc’s Kitten, as the name might indicate, is a daughter of super turf sire Kitten's Joy  , and owned and bred by Ken and Sarah Ramsey. Like Testa Rossi, she is trained by Chad Brown, who won the inaugural Juvenile Fillies Turf with 11-1 shot Maram.

Javier Castellano, who rode Granny Mc’s Kitten in the P.G. Johnson, will be back aboard.

Duff One, who has never won on grass, breaking her maiden in an off-the-turf race in the slop at Saratoga, is trained by Gary Contessa and is coming off a bullet :34 1/5 breeze Oct. 2.

Tom Albertrani trains the third-place finisher of the P.G. Johnson, Miss Frost, who set all the pace before tiring slightly in the final furlong. The daughter of Curlin  , owned by Dogwood Stable, had broken her maiden by a nose in her grass debut at Saratoga.

As for the last-out maiden winners, the sky’s the limit for Bikini Beauty, a daughter of Bernardini   who came from far back going seven furlongs to win by 3 3/4 lengths for trainer Christophe Clement.

Breaking from the rail will be Monmouth Park shipper Echale Salsita, who made her grass debut last time out following two dismal efforts on dirt. She proceeded to crush her opponents by nearly three lengths going a mile on the lead the entire way at 24-1. Greg Sacco trains the daughter of Two Step Salsa  , who was a $13,000 2-year-old purchase at Ocala.

Todd Pletcher will be represented by Candy Kitty, who finished fifth in the P.G. Johnson but was an impressive maiden winner on the grass in her previous start at Saratoga. The daughter of Lemon Drop Kid   races for Starlight Racing.

Rounding out the field are recent maiden winners Sea Bubble, Morethanawarning, Sky Painter, and Selenite. Sky Painter, like Dancing House, is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, but is owned by Darley Stable. The fact that Dancing House has already graduated to Godolphin blue indicates the high regard in which she is held.

$200,000 Miss Grillo Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 10, 5:45 p.m.), 2YOs, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Echale Salsita (FL), M Franco, 117, G D Sacco
2. Morethanawarning (KY), C H Velasquez, 117, T M Bush
3. Miss Frost (KY), E S Prado, 117, T Albertrani
4. Bikini Beauty (KY), J L Ortiz, 117, C Clement
5. Duff One (KY), E Wilson, 117, G C Contessa
6. a-Sky Painter (KY), L Saez, 117, K P McLaughlin
7. Selenite (NY), A O Solis, 117, D G Donk
8. Testa Rossi (FR), J Lezcano, 119, C C Brown
9. a-Dancing House (KY), I Ortiz Jr., 117, K P McLaughlin
10. Granny Mc's Kitten (KY), J Castellano, 121, C C Brown
11. Candy Kitty (KY), J Bravo, 117, T A Pletcher
12. Sea Bubble (KY), J Pimentel, 117, J Cibelli
a-Darley, Godolphin-owned entry
 



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