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Breeders Cup 2015

Sentimental Lass On Course for Iroquois

Sentimental Lass, juvenile heroine of last year's Maid of the Mist on New York Showcase Day, is back on track and ready to try for her second Showcase Day win in next weekend's Friendly Island Iroquois for fillies and mares.

The Freud filly exits a runner-up finish behind 2010's Champion 2-Year-Old Female Awesome Feather on October 5 at Belmont Park in the Le Slew overnight stakes. The race marked Awesome Feather's highly anticipated comeback after being sidelined with an injury following last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

"I think she probably needed the run last time," said David Duggan, who trains Sentimental Lass for J Z B Racing Stable, LLC. "We changed up her running style and it was a regroup after Saratoga because it was kind of a disaster up there."

Sentimental Lass ran once in Saratoga, finishing fifth in the six-furlong Union Avenue against fellow statebreds on August 22. In that race, she wore blinkers for the second time after Duggan had added the equipment for a successful outing in a New York-bred optional claimer at Belmont on July 7.

"She was in season [when she ran in the Union Avenue] and the second time with the blinkers just kind of fried her mind a little bit," said Duggan. "So we went back to basics, to what worked. I didn't expect to run into Awesome Feather [in the Le Slew], but I had no choices, and just wanted to get back on track. I knew I could beat the others, but if the other filly was on target, I couldn't beat her."

After breaking her maiden by 10 ½ lengths in her second start last September at Belmont, Sentimental Lass was shelved following the Maid of the Mist. Bought back this spring in the Wandering Cloud overnight stakes on June 3 against New York-bred sophomore fillies, she dueled for the lead for a half-mile before giving way to finish sixth, then came back with blinkers to win the optional claimer in July by 2 ¾ lengths in her first start against older fillies and mares. Duggan said he was pleased with Sentimental Lass's runner-up effort in the Le Slew and looking forward to the seven-furlong Iroquois.

"It definitely put us back on the map, gave us some life again," said Duggan. "The seven-eighths again this year is ideal. She's well. She's come out of the [Le Slew] quick, even though the [Iroquois] has come back a shade quicker than you would like. I'd like a little bit more time in between, but in saying that I'm not too concerned. She likes the distance, she likes Belmont, and you just lead her straight over there. I didn't really want to run her through the winter. She had some little issues going on, so we gave her the time [last winter]. Things didn't go perfect through the year, but if she can win this race, it will justify everything."

In addition to Sentimental Lass, the Iroquois is expected to draw the 1-2 finishers from the Union Avenue, Lovely Lil and Nicole's Miss El, as well as Lady On the Run, Risky Rachel, and Spa City Princess. Byrnes added that Bailzee, Bob's Dylan, Go Unbridled, Miss Valentine, Myrtle's Gray and Opus A were possible for the race.



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