Wesley Ward thinks Judy the Beauty has the ability to make it to the Breeders’ Cup a couple of months from now. He will get a good indication of how the juvenile filly stacks up when she meets her stiffest challenge yet in the $250,000 Spinaway (gr. I) Sept. 4 at Saratoga.
Owned and bred by Ward, Judy the Beauty will face eight in the seven-furlong Spinaway, which is the headliner on Saratoga’s 12-race Sunday program. The daughter of Ghostzapper, undefeated in three starts, will make her first start on dirt.
Judy the Beauty broke her maiden on the Keeneland Polytrack in April and was sent to France not long after, where she scored an allowance race on turf at Chantilly with Ward’s go-to rider Jeffrey Sanchez making the winning trip. After a couple months off, the chestnut filly returned to North American and made a winning stakes debut in the July 17 Shady Well Stakes on the Woodbine Polytrack at 5 1/2 furlongs.
Ward, who said he might enter Judy the Beauty in the Sept. 5 Three Chimneys Hopeful (gr. I) against males but would likely run her in the Spinaway since she drew favorably in post 7, has worked the filly in company with multiple graded stakes winner Flashpoint—and she has fared very well. He is expecting another big effort.
“She’s never been better,” said Ward, who paid $20,000 for her at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale. “She has a lot of talent. Jeffrey Sanchez has worked and ridden her many times and has a lot of confidence. She can (rate or run on the lead). She is very smart.
“The Breeders’ Cup is the goal. She wasn’t an early nomination but I paid the fee and she is now nominated. I’ll probably take her to Keeneland after this; she trained there for much of the early part of her career and she handles it well. We’ll obviously take it one race at a time, but if she does well (in the Spinaway) I’ll point her for the Alcibiades (gr. I, Oct. 7).”
Sanchez will ride Judy the Beauty, who was bred in Ontario, Canada by Adena Springs.
The only graded stakes winner in the field is Georgie's Angel, who won the Schuylerville (gr. III) on opening day at Saratoga. The Bellamy Road filly scored by 1 1/2 lengths as the odds-on choice over True Feelings, also a Spinaway entrant. Georgie’s Angel has worked four times for trainer Todd Pletcher since that win, which was her second in as many tries. John Velazquez will have the mount from post 2 on the 2-1 morning-line favorite.
“Based on her pedigree and the way she’s been training, we don’t believe seven furlongs will be an issue,” Pletcher said. “She ran a very professional race. We were concerned coming back off short rest at Churchill (on July 4). Now, we’ve got good spacing.”
True Feelings is one of two fillies entered for trainer Tony Dutrow and leading owner Michael Dubb. She broke her maiden by nearly four lengths at Delaware Park a month before coming off the pace in the Schuylerville. The connections’ other entrant is Grace Hall, a first out winner July 30 at Delaware. They will run as a coupled entry.
Another impressive debut winner was Helen Groves’ And Why Not, who rolled to victory by 5 1/2 lengths in a maiden special weight Aug. 7 at the Spa. The Michael Matz trainee broke slowly but rallied emphatically on the turn in the 6 1/2-furlong contest, drawing away at 7-1 under Julien Leparoux, who will ride again from post 1. And Why Not was a $775,000 2010 Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga select yearling sale purchase by Groves.
Also of note is Lady Pecan, a Concerto filly bought privately by Kaleem Shah after romping by more than eight lengths in a $62,500 maiden claimer Aug. 1 at Woodbine. Previously trained by Ricky Griffith, she is now in the barn of Bob Baffert. The Florida-bred filly will make her first dirt start and will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan.
$250,000 Spinaway (gr. I, Race 10, 5:45 p.m.), 2YO Fillies, 7 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds 1. And Why Not (KY), J R Leparoux, 119, M R Matz, 6-1
2. Georgie's Angel (KY), J R Velazquez, 119, T A Pletcher, 2-1
3. Vukovar (KY), C S Nakatani, 119, E J Guillo, 20-1
4. Lady Pecan (FL), S Bridgmohan, 119, B Baffert, 8-1
5. True Feelings (KY), J Rose, 119, A W Dutrow, 7-2
6. Born Bullish (KY), E Castro, 119, J P Terranova II,12-1
7. Judy the Beauty (ON), J Sanchez, 119, W A Ward, 3-1
8. Grace Hall (KY), R A Dominguez, 119, A W Dutrow, 7-1
9. Baffle Me (KY), J Lezcano, 119, M A Hennig, 15-1