P.G. Johnson Stakes Key Race for Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

P.G. Johnson Stakes Key Race for Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

Tapit’s Fly, who was won this race last year, also recorded a victory in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf. Only a few of the fillies have turf experience, but some trying the inner turf course for the first time have breeding for the surface and could put forth an excellent effort.


Pleine Forme (Grand Slam – Why Worry, by Cadeaux Genereux) won her debut sprinting over the Tapita. She has breeding for turf and should be able to handle the distance. Her damsire was a champion sprinter two years running in Europe. Her dam started nine times, winning once. The second dam was a Group 3 winner in France.  Pleine Forme’s works are average and the Motion barn wins 22% with first timers over the lawn.


Avanta (Dixie Union – Burnished Miss, by Wild Again) gets blinkers despite winning her second start, a maiden claiming race sprinting over dirt. Avanta should have no difficulty distance wise, but her pedigree leans more towards dirt. Her dam won once in 14 starts and was unplaced in her sole foray over the lawn. Burnished Miss is a half sister to the dirt stakes sprinters Bright Launch (Saratoga Special G-2), Bright Valor (Hanshin Cup G-3) and Burnish (Miss Preakness G-3). Avanta does descend from a nice distaff family, but the turf stars are several generations back. Can’t help but think the Pletcher barn is experimenting. Avanta recorded an average five furlong work over the turf and the barn is 0-2 with claimers this year.


Fancy Point (Point Given – Fancy Clancy, by Rahy) had a rough debut wherein she was bumped at the start and blocked at the ¼ pole traveling six furlongs over the Saratoga main track. She still managed to finish fourth. She came out of the race none the worse for wear and recorded a bullet work a week later. Fancy Point has a stellar distaff family full of turf stars. She is a half sister to stakes placed Powerchord. Her dam is a half sister to the Grade 1 winning sire Joyeux Dancer, his stakes winning full brother Fabuleux Dancer, and their full sister Danseur Fabuleux, the dam of European Champion, Arazi and his Group 1 winning half brother Noverre. Fancy Clancy is also a half sister to Grade 3 winner Doubles Partner, Grand dam of Group 1 winner Eagles Cafe and his multiple Grade 1 winning half sister Let.  Fancy Point’s third dam Native Partner and fourth dam Dinner Partner are blue hens. The Phipps barn has a strong 36% winners second time out.


Maria's Luck (Halo’s Image – Marchella, by King of Kings) Sire was a Grade 3 winner in Florida.  Dam has a 0-3-2- record over the turf and was 3-19 sprinting on dirt. Three is plenty of class three generations back. The third dam Classic Value was a G-3 winning miler and produced the durable stakes horses Patriot Act, Class Kris (dam of Student Counsel and Gradepoint),  Class on Class (dam of Don’t Get Mad and Barkley Sound), and Classic Approval (dam of Approval Rating and Gulch Approval).  Maria's Luck is the most experienced filly with four starts under her girth. She was trounced 7 ½ lengths by Avanta before dropping in the maiden claiming ranks for a win. The Cesare barn is 0-7 with first timers over the lawn.


Lauren Byrd (Arch – Strike the Sky, by Smart Strike) nosed out Arch Support for her debut running six furlongs on grass in July. Her breezes since that race have been slower than previous works but she does own a decent last out work over the lawn. Her half brother Hudson Steele won the Jersey Derby (1 1/6 miles turf). Lauren Byrd’s dam won once in four tries in dirt sprints. The second dam was stakes placed and fourth dam What a Treat was a Champion three year old filly. Lauren Byrd is the second entry for the Pletcher barn. Her jockey David Cohen is 6% with turf runners.


Kathmanblu   (Bluegrass Cat – Abba Gold, by Devil’s Bag) showed nothing while sprinting over the dirt in her initial start, but found a home on turf winning a mile race by ½ a length last time out. As noted in the 2010 Guide to Freshmen Sires, her sire is getting winners over all surfaces and Kathmanblu is his first representative over turf. Kathmanblu’s dam was a stakes placed dirt sprinter and a half sister to Grade 1 winner Friendly Michelle. Kathmanblu gets first time Lasix and the McPeek barn gets 27% winners with that angle.


Arch Support (Arch – Two Ninety Jones, by Sir Harry Lewis) A $75K Keeneland September yearling, was on the wrong end of a nose bob in her initial start, but came back to win by ½ a length in her next start. She’s the only filly in the group with a win over this course at today’s race distance. Her damsire, a son of the great Alleged, won the 10 furlong Irish Derby (G-1) and was an excellent broodmare sire. Arch Support is a half sister to the stakes placed sprinter Bounding. Her dam was a listed stakes winner and placed in several stakes, all over turf. Arch Support owns a strong five furlong breeze coming into this race, but the Contessa barn is only 9% with horses making their second start at a route. 


Believe in A. P. (A.P. Indy – I believe In You, by Pleasant Tap) was only ½ length behind Arch Support over this course and distance last time out.  Her dam was in the money in all four starts and won the Hollywood Starlet. Her promising career was cut short due to injury. Believe in A. P. shows three very good works back from her last start indicating that she could move forward. Trainer Rick Dutrow has a 27% win rate for non-graded stakes races.


Dos Lunas placed second in the Junior Champion Stakes at Monmouth Park over the weekend and will likely scratch. Let’s Get Fiscal and Sky Hosoya are entered for the main track only. Clear weather is forecasted.



How the track is playing:  66% of the winners this meet have been either pace setters or pace pressers with 22% wiring the field. The majority of the winners have come from outside posts. There is no rain forecasted and the inner turf course is expected to be firm.


Arch Support and Believe in A. P. have experience at this distance and both have been working well. Fancy Point has one of the best turf pedigrees in the race and should benefit from the surface switch and distance. Lauren Byrd was beaten only a nose by Arch Support and will appreciate the extra real estate. Kathmanblu gets first time Lasix and beat maidens at Ellis Park. She ships in and tries a tougher group here, but could surprise. Pleine Forme has the breeding for turf, but could have a tough time of it from the inside post position.


Believe in A. P.

Arch Support

Lauren Byrd

Fancy Point - longshot


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