Lady Eli's sibling Princesa Caroline in the Breeders' Cup mix

October 23, 2019 03:31pm
Lady Eli's sibling Princesa Caroline in the Breeders' Cup mix
Photo: Courtesy of NYRA

It’s trainer Chad Brown’s preference to identify his 2-year-old contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf during the summer. If Brown notices the right traits, he said, “we start working backwards from there.”

The approach has thus far led to victories in five of 11 editions of the Juvenile Fillies Turf, including each of the last three. But if Brown’s to extend his run on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park, he’ll do so with a late bloomer.

One of his pre-entries confirmed Wednesday, Selflessly, broke her maiden when winning the Miss Grillo (G2) on Sept. 29 at Belmont Park. She’s in the body of the prospective field.

Princesa Caroline, who figures to be the more popular of the two stablemates, is a half-sister of 2014 Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine and champion Lady Eli. Just a debut maiden winner, she’ll need three defections to crack the Top 14 and run in the Breeders’ Cup.

“They’re different altogether,” Brown said in comparing siblings, “but the one thing they have in common is they both have a lot of ability.”

By American Pharoah — yes, we said this one would be popular — Princesa Caroline took a forward placement in her lone start on Sept. 28, then distanced to a 3 1/2-length victory under jockey Javier Castellano once into the stretch.

Brown didn’t start thinking about the Breeders’ Cup until about a week ago.

“Twice now since her debut she worked great,” he said. “At the last minute I just thought based on my experience in this race, I feel she really fits. I know it’s a longshot for us to get in, and it still looks that way. But if she can get in the field, I plan to run her.”

Belmont Park will also take entries Thursday for Sunday’s Chelsey Flower, a $100,000 race going a mile on the lawn. Princesa Caroline will show up in that field as Brown awaits developments within the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“I’ll need to know by Sunday or at least have a good idea if I think she’ll get in or not to take her out of that race and ship her out,” the trainer said. “If it doesn’t look like we have a very good chance to get in, I’ll probably just run her in the stakes race at Belmont and go from there.”

Lady Eli, who won 10 of 14 starts, overcoming a nearly deadly case of laminitis during her career, has since retirement gone on to be a broodmare, commanding $4.2 million at auction in November of 2018 while in foal to War Front.

Princesa Caroline runs for her breeders, Runnymede Farm, along with Three Chimneys Farm.

“They’re both big horses, but different color, and they have a different look about them,” Brown said, comparing siblings. “This filly is a little easier going around the barn. Lady Eli was a handful, especially as a 2-year-old. I find this filly to be a little more relaxed at this time.

“This filly, Princesa Caroline, probably doesn’t possess the turn of foot that Lady Eli had — she sort of went from anywhere — however, I really liked her debut where she put herself into the race and finished it off well.”

Brown’s other Juvenile Fillies Turf winners include Maram, winner of the inaugural running in 2008, along with New Money Honey (2016), Rushing Fall (2017) and Newspaperofrecord (2018).

While Selflessly and Princesa Caroline revealed themselves as contenders later in the season, “nevertheless, they’re there,” Brown said, “and I believe two of the better fillies division right now in this country.”

 

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