Riding a pretty good hot streak, StarLadies Racing comes to this year’s Breeders' Cup with a pair of 2-year-old runners. On Nov. 3, the first day of the World Championships, their Orbolution will mix it up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T), and the following day Stainless will break from post 6 in the 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
The partnership group StarLadies, headed by Laurie Wolf and Barbara Lucarelli, is an offshoot of Starlight Racing, headed by Jack Wolf and Don Lucarelli, with a focus on fillies. A good year got even better when their Eskenformoney won last weekend's Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park; she will be sold as Hip 168 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale Nov. 6 in Lexington.
Orbolution comes to the Breeders’ Cup off a win in the P.G. Johnson Stakes Aug. 31 at Saratoga Race Course and a third-place finish in Belmont's Miss Grillo Stakes (G3T). The daughter of Orb —My Rachel, by Horse Chestnut, was a $370,000 purchase at last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale from Hinkle Farms.
Both Orbolution and Stainless are trained by Todd Pletcher, who also trained My Rachel.
"In her last race it was a little bit on the softer side," Laurie Wolf said. "When they came back, (jockey) Johnny (Velazquez) said the ground was pulling away from her. It was like she was ready to go, but she was swimming."
Orbolution made her first two starts unsuccessfully on dirt.
"Todd told us she was a turf horse and Orbolution reminds him a lot of (My Rachel)," she said. "Once she breezed on the turf she just came into her own."
"Orbolution is a beautiful filly. She looks a little bit like her dad," said Donna Barton Brothers, the managing partner for StarLadies. "Her dad was put together well enough to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) but he probably didn’t have a real flashy hip and shoulder on him, while she’s got a long, lengthiness to her; she has a rounder hip and shoulder."
Whereas Orbolution was pointed toward the Juvenile Filies Turf, Stainless was cross-entered in the Juvenile Fillies, and landed there.
A winner first time out, Stainless was third in the six-furlong Schuylerville Stakes (G3) at the Spa in July and fourth in the Adirondack (G2) mid-August. Stretched to two turns, she rallied from 13th to finish second behind Rushing Fall in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes (G3T) at Keeneland.
"In the races at Saratoga she went to her nose twice," Wolf said. "She’s been a filly that I would say, physically, she looks awesome; mentally, she’s just a little bit behind and she gets a little nervous.
"After those races, Todd said he wanted to give her a little bit of time so she could get her head together; come into herself. He wanted to ship her to Keeneland where she breezed on the turf and she did fine."
Stainless, bred by Sienna Farms, was a $75,000 buy at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale.
"Stainless is a filly that you could look at her and go either way: she can sprint or run long," said Brothers, whose husband, Frank, selects horses for Starlight and StarLadies. "In her races she's shown an affinity for going a longer distance. The only thing is we have never been convinced that she had an affinity for the grass as much as it was for stretching her out around two turns. It made sense to cross-enter her. Personally, I'm happy she’s ended up on the dirt, even though it might be one of the most contentious fields, especially in particular a standout such as Moonshine Memories, Separationofpowers, and Heavenly Love."
Both races for StarLadies’ runners are the first Breeders' Cup races on their respective programs. For the partnership team, it will be clear very early on how their days are going.