Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies
Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Field and Analysis
by T.O. Whenham
The Juvenile Fillies is the first race on the main Breeders' Cup card this year, and it has been the most formful over the last five years - the highest priced winner over that span was Dreaming of Anna last year at 5/2. Because of that it is a good race to get an ego boost and get off to a winning start to the day. It's also likely to have one of the lowest priced favorites of the day, so chalk eaters will be happy.
That low priced favorite is Indian Blessing, a Bob Baffert trainee by Indian Charlie, another Baffert trainee back in 1998. She's been stunning in her two career wins, and she is probably the most impressive looking horse in the field, too. She is not without problems, though - no horse has ever won this race with less than three career starts, she's never run around two turns, and her last quarter in her Frizette win, though obviously fast enough, was incredibly slow (27.1 seconds). You'll have to decide whether she has the ability to overcome those hurdles, and whether they is value at the likely price of about 2/1.
Baffert has an embarrassment of riches in this division, as the likely second favorite, Cry and Catch Me, is also his. She's a front runner, and critics will argue that her speed makeup won't lend itself well to this race and will instead set it up for a horse from off the pace like her stablemate. On the other hand, she has won around two turns, and her win in the Oak Leaf at Santa Anita required holding on through a serious stretch duel, so she is far from a pushover.
The single most influential prep race this year was likely the Alcibiades. Three legitimate horses - A to the Croft, Grace Anatomy, and Irish Smoke - all were on the track last in that race. Country Star, the winner of the race, isn't here, but A to the Croft was a solid second. She was wide on both turns in that race, and still had lots of fuel in the tank for the stretch drive. She's never been worse than second in four tries, and will be solid here. Grace Anatomy was a neck behind A to the Croft. She had the lead before tiring, but she had a terrible start and had to make a big move to get to the front, so it's not a wonder she was fading late. With a good post position and a better trip she could be a major factor. Irish Smoke was the most highly-regarded of the three going into the Alcibiades, but she was a major disappointment in the race, starting poorly and getting worse to end up last as the favorite. Given that trip, a lot of people will find it easy to discard Irish Smoke this time out.
Larry Jones, a previous reasonably-unknown trainer, is having a very good year. Not only does he have Hard Spun in the Classic, but his Proud Spell is also a nice entry here. She'll capture her share of attention because she is undefeated in three races. The problem I have, though, is that all three races were sprints, and her Beyer in her most recent win, 82, was far from her career-high of 94. Horses have not historically done well in this race when stretching out for the first time.
Izarra is a horse who hasn't quite put it all together yet, but she just oozes potential. She doesn't have a stakes win yet, but she has been on the board in both tries, and she has legitimate excuses for her performances. If she calms down early in this race unlike other times, and if she handles her first appearance on dirt well, then this horse could really surprise.
Speaking of horses that could really surprise, there is something about Smarty Deb that is way more appealing than it should be. She's from Emerald Downs, and that will automatically eliminate her in many eyes. She has a lot going for her, though - she's unbeaten, she has tried two turns before, her Beyer best is reasonably competitive, and she has raced against and beaten the boys. She's taking a massive step up in class, but I'll be looking at her a few more times before post.
At the risk of missing out on a big payday, I'm willing to say that the winner will come from one of the horses we have discussed already, and that the rest of the field is just along for the ride. Backseat Rhythm was second in the Frizette, but that's her only stakes experience and it took her three tries to break her maiden. Clearly Foxy only has a win in a Canadian Grade three on Woodbine's turf track to her credit, and likely is short of class. Phantom Income was seventh and ninth in her two outings against graded company. Set Play has a grade one win at Del Mar, but she was an irrelevant seventh in the Oak Leaf last time out. Tasha's Miracle was just a little better in the Oak Leaf with a fifth, but she weakened badly down the stretch to raise questions about her ability to get this distance. Zee Zee hasn't seen graded company in her three starts, and she hasn't run on dirt.
Re: Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies
Indian Blessing cruises in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies
October 27th, 2007
Oceanport, NJ (Sports Network) - Day two of the 24th edition of the Breeders' Cup World Championships commenced at Monmouth Park with Indian Blessing capturing the $2 million Juvenile Fillies.
Indian Blessing, ridden by Garrett Gomez, went wire to wire in winning the 1 1/16 mile race in 1:44 3/5 on a sloppy track. The filly took the lead shortly after the start and went on to win by four lengths over Proud Spell. Finishing third was Backseat Rhythm in the 13 horse field.
Owned by Hal Earnhardt and trained by Bob Baffert, Indian Blessing is now a perfect three for three in her short career. The Juvenile Fillies victory was worth $1 million to bring her earnings to more than $1.4 million.
Earlier this month Indian Blessing won the Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park.
Indian Blessing returned $5.40, $4.80 and $3.20. Proud Spell paid $8.80 and $5.80, and Backseat Rhythm paid $9.60 to show.
Cry and Catch Me was scratched from the race on Thursday after coming down with a fever.
There have been a couple of scratches from today's Breeders' Cup races. Slew's Tiznow has been scratched from the upcoming Juvenile and Wait a While is scratched from the Filly & Mare Turf.
"Despite the lack of cooperation from Mother Nature, we are very encouraged with the first day of our new two-day format of the Breeders' Cup World Championships," said Breeders' Cup President and CEO Greg Avioli after Friday's racing. "The racing fans of New Jersey displayed their great support and enthusiasm, and bettors around the country responded with a heightened sense of interest in the three new World Championships races."
A total of 27,803 people attended the first day at Monmouth Park and $19,771,360 was wagered on Friday's three Breeders' Cup races.
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