Dual grade I winner Stardom Bound heads an accomplished field of nicely matched fillies set for the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
The 1 1/16-mile Juvenile Fillies is the third of five Breeders’ Cup events held on Ladies Day Oct. 24. Approximate post time for the $2 million race is 4:55 p.m. EDT.
Stardom Bound, the daughter of Tapit —My White Corvette, by Tarr Road, was second by a nose in her debut at Del Mar in July, which she followed up with another runner-up effort in the Sorrento Stakes (gr. III), also at the California track.
|BC Juvenile Slide Show|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies: 1984-2007|
But things quickly turned around for Stardom Bound when she was stretched out from sprints to route distances. She turned in riveting performances coming from far off the pace in the Del Mar Debutante and two-turn Oak Leaf Stakes, both grade I events.
Stardom Bound is trained by Chistopher Paasch, who picked her out for 85-year-old owner Charles Cono. Breaking from the 10 post, Stardom Bound’s biggest challenges will come from two other fillies who have also experienced grade I success: Dream Empress and Sky Diva.
Dream Empress, winner of the Oct. 13 Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, drew the 12 position for the Juvenile Fillies. Owned Livin the Dream Racing, a partnership group based in Lexington and Louisville, she is trained by Kenny McPeek and boasts a record of two victories from three starts.
Though undefeated Sky Diva has had just two starts, she proved she belongs in the Breeders’ Cup with an incredible 10-length maiden victory at Del Mar, followed by a decisive win in the Frizette Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Oct. 4. Sky Diva will break from post four.
Another horse looking to pose a threat in the Juvenile Fillies is the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Be Smart. Lukas smiled as he stepped into the sunshine following the post position draw at Santa Anita Oct. 21. Be Smart had just drawn the fifth post position for the race and her trainer couldn’t be happier.
“It’s excellent,” said Lukas. “I actually called it before they even drew it. I said, ‘I’ll take the five,’ and bam—right there it was.”
Be Smart, a daughter of Smarty Jones —Eishin Bridle, by Unbridled, jump started her career when she broke her maiden first time out at Saratoga Aug. 28. Going off at odds of 49-1, she paid $100 to win.
“She’s done everything right from the get-go,” said Lukas of Be Smart, who ran second behind Dream Empress in the Alcibiades. “She’s been a really good filly to train. We’ve had good fillies…and she fits the mold. I feel real good about her. She’s light on seasoning, but she’s good on ability. I think she’ll do fine — I don’t think (her post position) will be a problem.”
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies|
|1.||Evita Argentina||Alex Solis||John Sadler||15-1|
|2.||Persistently||Alan Garcia||Claude McGaughey||15-1|
|3.||Black Magic Mama||Rafael Bejarano||Doug O'Neill||15-1|
|4.||Sky Diva||Ramon Dominguez||Steve Klesaris||7-2|
|5.||Be Smart||Garrett Gomez||D. Wayne Lukas||15-1|
|6.||Van Lear Rose||Chantal Sutherland||Catherine Day Phillips||30-1|
|7.||Dave's Revenge||Joel Rosario||Robert Hess||30-1|
|8.||C. S. Silk||Robby Albarado||Dale Romans||15-1|
|9.||Palacio de Amor||Victor Espinoza||Myung Kwon Cho||12-1|
|10.||Stardom Bound||Mike Smith||Christopher Paasch||2-1|
|11.||Pursuit of Glory||John Murtagh||David Wachman||8-1|
|12.||Dream Empress||Kent Desormeaux||Kenneth McPeek||6-1|
|13.||Doremifasollatido||Eibar Coa||Jimmy Jerkens||15-1|