stakes winner, a European import with a three-race win streak and a
pair of promising colts comprise a strong hand for trainer Chad Brown,
who saddles the favorites in Sunday's duo of 1 1/16-mile turf races for
juveniles at Belmont Park, the Grade 3, $200,000 Pilgrim and the Grade
3, $200,000 Miss Grillo for fillies.
Miss Grillo, with 11 betting interests, and the Pilgrim, which drew a
field of nine, are both "Win and You're In" races leading to the
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf,
respectively, next month at Santa Anita Park.
the field for the Miss Grillo is 3-1 morning-line favorite Granny Mc's
Kitten, who broke her maiden with a good-looking 1 ¾-length victory in
the P.G. Johnson on August 28 at Saratoga Race Course. Owned by Ken and
Sarah Ramsey, the homebred daughter of Kitten's Joy missed by a nose in
her debut on July 22 after breaking a tad slow.
continues to grow and put on weight as she races, which is always a
good sign in a young horse," said Brown of Granny Mc's Kitten, who has
had three works since the 1 1/16-mile P. G. Johnson, most recently
breezing five furlongs on the turf in 1:00.12 on September 23 at
Belmont. "I expect continued improvement as the fall progresses."
her in the starting gate from Brown's barn will be French import Testa
Rossi, who broke her maiden this spring at Lyon-Parilly and next added a
pair of allowance victories at six and seven furlongs in June and July.
The Dr Fong filly arrived in the United States in August and has had
five works, most recently a half-mile breeze in 50.94 on Sunday. She
will run on Lasix for the first time Sunday.
a good-looking filly," said Brown, who took last year's Miss Grillo
with Watsdachances, next second in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and the
2008 edition with Maram, subsequent winner of the inaugural Juvenile
Fillies Turf. "She has a lot of scope to her and she should handle the
Castellano will be aboard Granny Mc's Kitten, high weight under 121
pounds from post position 10, and Jose Lezcano will ride Testa Rossi,
the morning-line second choice at 7-2, from post position 8.
McLaughlin will saddle the Darley/Godolphin entry of Dancing House and
Sky Painter, listed at 5-1 on the morning line in the Miss Grillo.
in the Grade 1 Spinaway last time out, Dancing House will be making her
turf debut in the Miss Grillo. The Tapit filly broke her maiden going
six furlongs on July 31 at Saratoga, coming from off the pace to win by a
bred for turf and we decided to make sure we didn't waste her
2-year-old year, she might really be good on the turf," said McLaughlin.
"We worked her on the turf [47 1/5] at Oklahoma and she really liked
it. We decided to try it because we have everything to gain and not a
lot to lose. If she loves it, we'll go onto the Breeders' Cup [Juvenile
Fillies Turf]; if she hates it, we'll blame it on the turf and go back
Sky Painter, a daughter of Street Cry, was a last-to-first maiden winner at 5 ½ furlongs in August.
bred to stretch out," said McLaughin of Sky Painter, who is out of the
Sky Mesa mare Skylighter. "She ran well on the turf up there and we've
been pointing for this since she broke her maiden. She's a nice filly
and we think she'll run well."
Ortiz, Jr. will ride Dancing House from post position 9 while Luis Saez
will be in the irons for Sky Painter, who drew post position 6.
his fillies may appear more accomplished, Brown is equally confident in
his Pilgrim starters, Shadow Banking and Bobby's Kitten. Owned by
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, Shadow Banking earned an 81
Beyer Speed Figure for his 6 ¼-length maiden victory on September 11 at
Belmont, while Bobby's Kitten, a Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred son of
Kitten's Joy, was a 2 ¾-length maiden winner second time out at
think they're a pretty formidable duo," said Brown of Shadow Banking,
the 5-2 favorite on the morning line, and second-choice Bobby's Kitten,
tabbed at 3-1.
Christophe Clement has won nearly every graded stakes on the turf at
Belmont Park, but has yet to saddle a winner of either the Miss Grillo
or the Pilgrim. He is hoping that will change on Sunday when he sends
out recent maiden winners Bikini Beauty in the former and Blue Pigeon in
Beauty, a daughter of Bernardini, came from 12th to win her debut by 3 ¾
lengths on September 7 at Belmont, while the Mizzen Mast colt Blue
Pigeon handily defeated New York-breds in his first outing on August 28
is a little bit ambitious to go second time out in a stakes with Bikini
Beauty, but she's done everything right and it would be unfair for me
to take away this opportunity from her," said Clement. "I'm not sure she
beat any world-class horses, but she's done it the right way and she
just has to step it up. With Blue Pigeon, it's also ambitious, but we'll
take a shot."
Ortiz will ride Bikini Beauty, 5-1, from post position 4 in the Miss
Grillo and Jose's brother, Irad, will pilot Blue Pigeon, 12-1, from post
7, in the Pilgrim.