Since it's inception in 2008, the one
Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf has been contested only four times,
but there is already patterns developing in the race. Let's take a
look at what the winners have in common.
Two contests stand out as
key factors in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. The 1 1/16 mile Miss Grillo
Stakes (G-3) on the Belmont lawn was won by 2008 Juvenile Fillies
Turf heroine Maram. The following year, Tapitsfly
placed in the Miss Grillo before earning a victory in the Juvenile
Fillies Turf. The 2008 and 2009 Breeders' Cup events were held at
The 2010 and 2011
Breeders' Cups were contested at Churchill Downs. The one mile
Natalma (G-3) over the Woodbine green was instrumental in the
victories of the next two Juvenile Fillies Turf winners. More
Than Real placed second in the Natalma (G-3) in 2010 before
succeeding in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Last year, Stephanie's
Kitten was third in the Natalma. Stephanie's Kitten squeezed in a
victory in the Alcibiades (G-1) over the Keeneland Polytrack before
posting her win in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Number of starts before the Juvenile
2009 Maram: 2 – entered the
Juvenile Fillies Turf undefeated.
2010 Tapitsfly: 6 – needed 4 starts
to win her maiden.
2011 More Than Real: 2 – the
Juvenile Fillies Turf was her second and last victory.
2012 Stephanie's Kitten: 4 - the
only winner to have a prep race in mid-October.
2009 - Starting from post
position 3, Maram sat mid-pack before unleasing a three-wide
move in the stretch to run down the favorite in deep stretch. Maram
won by a nose over another closer, the European filly Heart Shaped.
The favorite Laragh was third.
2010 - Tapitsfly
rushed from post 10 to press the pace setter Rose Catherine before
challenging that filly in the stretch. The two dueled to the wire
with Tapitsfly prevailing by ½ length. The favorite Lilly Langtree
never fired and finished eighth.
2011 - Breaking from the 11 post
at Churchill Downs, More Than Real sat four wide in fifth
place for much of the race. She got the jump on the favorite Winter
Memories. Using that tactic to her advantage, More Than Real drew
clear in the stretch to win by two lengths over that rival.
2012 - Stephanie's Kitten
broke from post 5, rated in fifth place before making her move in
the stretch to get up by ¾ length over the pace setter
Stopshoppingmaria. The favorite, Elusive Kate raced wide and placed
Three of the four Juvenile Fillies Turf heroines
raced in mid-pack before making their moves in the stretch. Post
position didn't seem to matter.
All four fillies paid double digits to
win. In all but one instance, the favorite for the Juvenile Fillies
Turf finished out of the money.
2009 Maram: $24.20
2010 Tapitsfly: $21.60
2011 More Than Real: $29.20
2012 Stephanie's Kitten: $14.20
How the Europeans fared:
One would think that the
European Fillies would have had an impact in the Juvenile Fillies
In 2009, three European
fillies contested the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Heart Shaped placed
second, beaten a bare head. The other two finished second to last
A year later, only two
fillies who last raced overseas contested the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
The favorite, Lilly Langtry was eighth while Junia Tepzia was last.
Hopping for a better
result In 2010 at Churchill Downs, four fillies traveled from Europe
to Juvenile Fillies Turf. They finished fifth, seventh, eleventh and
Last year, three fillies
braved the trip from Europe. The best placing was by the Irish-bred
Up, who was fourth, bested by barely two lengths. The others fished
eighth and last.
Perhaps this year we'll
see a better result from the Euros. For the first time, no Salix or
Lasix will be allowed for the juveniles. The Europeans are used to
running without race-day medication, so this may be to their
Given the predominance of
Northern Dancer and Raise A Native bloodlines in America, it is no
surprise to see the following.
Three of the four
Juvenile Fillies Turf heroines (Tapitsfly, More Than Real,
Stephanie's Kitten) are out of mares by a Northern Dancer sire line
Two fillies (Maram, More
Than Real) were sired by a Raise A Native stallion (Mr. Prospector &
Horses to Watch:
There are still prep races scheduled.
At this point, it's anyone's guess how the race will shape up. Below
are stakes winners whose ultimate goal could logically be the
Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Lantern (Red Clubs – Shawanni, by Shareef Dancer) was
successful in the seven furlong Moyglare Stud Stakes (G-1) at the
Curragh in Ireland. The Irish-bred filly has a 5-3-2-0 (£166,822)
record. Sky Lantern has placed in a listed stakes and two Group 3
events before winning the Moyglare. Sky Lantern is a half sister to
three stakes winners and a stakes placed runner. She's the most
accomplished of her dam's offspring.
Venture (Spring At Last – Zahwah, by Rahy) was sent off as
the favorite in the Natalma Stakes (G-3) at Woodbine after dominating
maidens by over four lengths in her debut. The daughter of first crop
sire Spring At Last raced in mid-pack in the Natalma. She took over
in the stretch to win going away by 1 ¾ lengths. Spring Venture is
the first stakes winner out of her dam. All of her half siblings are
fillies. One is stakes placed. There is some precocious quality in
this distaff line. Spring Venture's dam Zahwah was third in the
Arlington-Washington Lassie (G-3). She is a half sister to La
Prevoyante Handicap (G-2) heroine Krisada. A half brother, Conte Di
Savoya set a new track record at Sam Houston and was fourth in the
1992 Kentucky Derby. Another half sister produced the multiple
stakes turf veteran Rahystrada and Bashford Manor (G-3) winner Lone
Sky. The second dam Funistrada was second in the Frizette (G-1) and
was fourth in the BC Juvenile Fillies.
Kitten (Kitten's Joy – Misinformer, by Dynaformer) won the
Happy Ticket Stakes, going a mile over the Louisiana Downs turf
course on September 8 by 1 ½ lengths. Always Kitten is the third
foal and first stakes winner produced by her dam. Always Kitten's
full brother Don't Tell Kitten currently has a career as a claiming
class runner. Other than Always Kitten, there is no other blacktype
in the first two generations of the distaff family. It wouldn't be
a Breeders' Cup turf race without a Kitten! Always Kitten's trainer
Mike Maker is pointing the filly to the Darley Alcibiades with the
main goal of the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
(More Than Ready – Fleuron, by Distant View) has won both starts,
including the Colleen Stakes, by a combined seven lengths. The
Cristophe Clement trainee has a pedigree tailored for the Breeders'
Cup. She's the first stakes winner produced by her dam. Fleuron is a
half sister to the multiple graded stakes winner Dynever, who was
third in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Their half brother Ittasak was
also third in the Classic. A half sister, Flagrant, produced
Breeders' Cup Mile hero Furthest Land. We may see Funfair contest
the Miss Grillo as a prep for the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Gold Edge Eddington - Gold Spike, by Pioneering) notched her
third win in as many starts with a professional victory in the
Arlington Washington Lassie (G-3). The Lon Wiggins trainee was up on
the lead in the early stages of the race, but jockey Chris Emigh
wisely eased Gold Edge off of a strong pace to sit fourth. She came
on again in the stretch to beat the pace setter, La Song, by a neck.
Dancinginthecircle was a nose back in third. Gold Edge is the first
foal produced by her dam. Gold Spike didn't earn any blacktype, but
she's a veteran of 56 races, finishing in the money 27 times. She's
a half to a stakes placed runner and a half sister produced a listed
stakes winner, but otherwise, there is no other blacktype in the
immediate female family. Gold Edge may contest the Darley Alcibiades
in her next start.
Song (Unbridled's Song - Yachats, by Forest Camp) made all of
the pace in the Arlington Washington Lassie (G-3) and just missed
holding off Gold Edge. The pretty gray La Song finished between Gold
Edge and Dancinginthecircle in a photo finish. La Song is the first
foal produced by her stakes placed dam. This is a nice female family.
Yachats is a half sister to the multiple stakes winners You're
Bluffing and Nacho Friend. A half sister bore Hopeful (G-1) and
Amsterdam Stakes (G-2) hero Currency Swap. The second dam
Yournotlistening is a Grade 3 winner. The Darley Alcibiades or
Jessamine Stakes would be a logical next step for La Song.
(Divine Park - Allude, by Orientate) came up the inside of the
Arlington Washington Lassie, missing the win by a scant neck and nose
in only her second start. She gave away experience to Gold Edge and
La Song and was nearest the rail in a three-way photo.
Dancinginthecircle is the first graded stakes horse for her first
crop sire, Met Mile hero Divine Park. She's also the first stakes
runner for her dam Allude, who placed twice in stakes. The second dam
Ed's Holy Cow is a half sister to Horse of the Year Holy Bull. We may
see Dancinginthecircle renew her rivalry with Gold Edge and La Song
There are five “Win and You're In”
Preps for the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Two have been contested so far.
September 9 – Moyglare Stakes (Gr. 1)
Curragh. Winner: Sky Lantern
September 15 – Natalma Stakes (G-3)
Woodbine. Winner: Spring Venture
September 28 – Shadwell Fillies' Mile
(Gr. 1) Newmarket
October 8 – Miss Grillo Stakes (G-3)
October 11 – J.P. Morgan Chase
Jessamine Stakes (G-3) Keeneland
The Darley Alcibiades (G-1) on October
5 at Keeneland is a “Win And You're In” prep for the Juvenile
Fillies over the dirt, but the race usually produces entrants for the
Juvenile Fillies Turf.
We'll check back after the Jessamine
Stakes with more fillies to watch and a recap of the prep races for
the Juvenile Fillies Turf.