Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies

Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies

Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies
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Breeders' Cup Breakdown

The Juvenile Fillies
1 1/16 miles; $2 million; 2YOf; 12:30pm Saturday

The History Go for Wand, Meadow Star, My Flag, Silverbulletday, and Storm Flag Flying are just some of the great fillies that have won this event in its 23 year history. Favorites: 13 for 23 (57%); Average Win Price: $17.70

The Best
Indian Blessing comes into this off two sparkling efforts for trainer Bob Baffert. In her debut, she missed the track record for 5 ½ furlongs at the Spa, set the day before by her stablemate by just a tick of a second when breaking her maiden by 5 ¼ lengths. A little over a month later, she successfully made the stretch out to a mile and handled a huge class jump by romping home in the G1 Frizette by 4 ½ lengths, though she came home the final ¼ of a mile in a harness racing-like :27 1/5.

While there is the question as to whether or not Indian Blessing can handle two turns, Baffert already knows that his other charge, Cry and Catch Me will have no problem with it, having won the G1 Oak Leaf over the Santa Anita Polytrack last out after breaking her maiden in her second career start two back off the layoff.

It’s back to the dirt for Irish Smoke, winner of the G1 Spinaway two back before faltering terribly as the favorite in the G1 Alcibades over the Polytrack at Keeneland last out while Proud Spell will look to keep her perfect record in tact as she tries a route for the first time having won her first three starts sprinting, including the G2 Matron last out

The Rest
A to the Croft has finished second in her last three starts, all graded stakes after breaking her maiden in her debut. Backseat Rhythm closed to be second in the Frizette after breaking her maiden on the grass against Alcibades winner Country Star. Clearly Foxy tries dirt for the first time after winning her first two on turf, including the G3 Natalma at Woodbine. Grace Anatomy made the lead in the stretch in the Alcibades before tiring in deep stretch to be third after breaking in the air at the start. Izarra just missed by a nose in the Oak Leaf after finishing third in the G1 Del Mar Debutante. Phantom Income won a minor Meadowlands stake last out after a poor showing in the Spinaway. Set Play raced evenly in the Oak Leaf in her first two turn try after upsetting the Del Mar Debutante at over 14-1. Undefeated Emerald Downs shipper Smarty Deb will be looking for her fifth win in a row while making a huge class jump. Tasha’s Miracle won the G3 Sorrento two back before finishing fifth in the Oak Leaf. Zee Zee will try dirt for the first time after beating fillies twice on the lawn and finishing second to the boys in her only other start.

There are two fillies on the outside looking in. In order of preference, they are Annie Skates and Joffe’s Run.

The Scenario
Cry and Catch Me and Indian Blessing have the most speed along with Phantom Income and Tasha’s Miracle. Clearly Foxy, Irish Smoke, Proud Spell, Set Play Smarty Deb and Zee Zee should be in the next group with A to the Croft, Backseat Rhythm, Grace Anatomy and Izarra pulling up the rear.

The Strategy
I believe the two Baffert runners will vie for favoritism but will still probably be in the 3-1 range. It’s such a big field that I feel you need to demand value in a race like this, especially when the two favorites have the same running style. I’m going to spread out in this race and hope for a meaty mid-priced horse to get the job done.

The Bomb
Zee Zee has never run on dirt but is bred to like the surface and has trained well on it in the past. She could have tried the boys in the Juvenile Turf but ends up here instead. Bill Mott doesn’t run horses in the Breeders’ Cup to run them so he obviously thinks she has a chance. Combine that with her 20-1 or better odds and you could do much worse.

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