Thursday, November 05, 2009

Juvenile Fillies Turf Notes, Thursday Nov. 5

Elusive Galaxy – Trainer Ben Cecil’s new kid on the block, juvenile filly Elusive Galaxy, galloped 1m Thursday as she finished her serious preparation for Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“We’re going to take her back in the race and put her back to the style she ran while in Ireland,” Cecil said.

In her first three career races the filly was rated behind the leaders before making a push near the end of her races, winning her first start and finishing second and third in two subsequent starts before coming to Cecil to run in Woodbine’s Natalma Stakes, where she went to the lead and tired to finish fourth.

Hatheer – Neil McLaughlin, assistant trainer and brother of Kiaran McLaughlin, sent Hatheer to the main track at Santa Anita Thursday morning for a 1 3/8m gallop under Danny Wright.

Hatheer heads into the Juvenile Fillies Turf off a third-place finish in the off-the-turf Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland.

“It’s probably one of the hardest races to handicap,” McLaughlin said. “You have so many horses coming from all over the world. The American horses haven’t had a chance to prove how good they are on the turf, because the two main preps in New York and Kentucky were rained off. It’s a bit of an unknown race.”

Hatheer, who broke her maiden at Saratoga on turf in her second career start, will be ridden by Alan Garcia.

House of Grace – The undefeated filly took to the track for a 1 1/2m gallop on Thursday under regular exercise rider Walter Blum Jr. Trainer Kenny McPeek reports all is well with House of Grace, as well as his four other Breeders’ Cup starters.

Junia Tepzia – The unbeaten daughter of Rock of Gibraltar galloped on the main track in company Thursday morning.

Peter Schiergen trains the Irish-bred filly, who has won both her starts in Italy. Kieren Fallon has the mount Friday.

“We were looking for a small race for her debut,” said Schiergen, who is based in Germany. “And we found that race in Italy (at Merano). She won it easily.”

Schiergen said that Team Valor purchased the filly after that race, and put her on a course for the Breeders’ Cup.

“She won a listed stakes (Premio Coolmore) at San Siro easily,” Schiergen said, “That prepared her for this.”

The trainer said Junia Tepzia will remain in the U.S. after the Breeders’ Cup.

Lillie Langtry – Trainer Aidan O’Brien ended up on the back of the Irish-bred filly after she unseated her exercise rider Thursday morning.

O’Brien said the filly became frightened and reacted, dropping the rider, who held onto the reins and did not let Lillie Langtry get loose.

“She got a little detached from the others and got confused,” O’Brien said. “When she started looking, she was like a child after losing her mommy. She started looking, and she didn’t know whether to go forward or backward. And she couldn’t see the other horses.”

O’Brien took over for the rider, who had fallen hard but was not injured, and climbed into the saddle. He said he wanted to make sure the filly calmed down.

“She was in a confused state and we had to get her out of it and into her own comfort zone quick,” O’Brien said.

Lillie Langtry has won three of six starts. She will be ridden by her regular jockey John Murtagh.

Lisa's Kitten – The Mike Maker-trained Juvenile Fillies Turf contender has adjusted well to her California surroundings since arriving here Saturday.

“She’s feeling good and has had some strong gallops,” Maker said. “You can see in her races that the condition of the course doesn’t matter to her and she finishes with good energy. She’ll make a run at them. I hope the pace is fast.”

Lisa’s Kitten breaks from post 12 with Julien Leparoux aboard.

Rose Catherine – You can excuse trainer Todd Pletcher if he seems to have a soft spot for recent maiden winner Rose Catherine. Her sire, Speightstown, provided Pletcher with his second Breeders’ Cup victory in the 2004 Sprint after Ashado won the Distaff earlier that day at Lone Star Park.

“She certainly acts like the real deal,” Pletcher said after leading her out for a leisurely gallop Thursday morning. “Speightstown seems like a horse that’s getting all kinds of runners – sprinters, routers, turf, dirt, synthetics. If she can duplicate that kind of performance and carry her speed over a mile she’s got a chance.”

Rose Catherine won her grass debut at 6f in a blistering 1:08 at Belmont Park on Oct. 11.

Javier Castellano will be aboard Rose Catherine, who required three starts to break her maiden – the first two on dirt.

Smart Seattle - The daughter of Smart Strike galloped 1 1/2m under Alice Clapham Thursday before schooling in the Santa Anita paddock later in the morning.

Trainer Graham Motion expressed pleasure with Smart Seattle’s preparation for the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“The Breeders’ Cup races are always very competitive races,” Motion said. “The big unknown is how tough the Europeans are going to be. I would imagine they’re going to be very competitive. You just hope the shipping, or the new circumstances, might be a disadvantage for them.”

Jeremy Rose, who has been aboard the stakes-winning filly in all three of her starts, has the return mount.

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