“She looked good today,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “We’ll see how she does. She’s only had two outs. She won her first and finished second, so that’s pretty good.”
Always a Princess broke her maiden at Del Mar on Sept. 5 and finished second in the Oak Leaf Stakes to fellow Juvenile Fillies contender Blind Luck on Oct. 4.
Trainer Kenny McPeek reported that he’s happy with how all five of his charges are coming into their respective races, including Beautician, who will be looking to rebound off a fifth-place finish in the Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland after a troubled trip.
Bickersons – The Silver Deputy filly, who ran third in the Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita last out in her synthetic track debut, galloped 1 5/8 m over the main track Thursday morning.
Trainer Kelly Breen said the filly is coming up to the Juvenile Fillies in fine form.
“She’s good to go,” Breen said. “She’s trained really well over this track since the Oak Leaf, and I think she’s going the right way.”
Breen named Joel Rosario, leading rider at the Oak Tree meet, to ride Bickersons for the first time.
“The owner (George Hall) and I will sit down with Joel Friday morning and map out strategy,” Breen said. “She’s got a good post (5) and I expect her to run her best.”
Biofuel – Throughout the week, trainer Reade Baker has been high on the chances of the 2yo daughter of Stormin Fever, and he remained confident Thursday.
“She got a little hot yesterday out on the track, but she jogged two times around the wrong way and she was okay this morning,” Baker said. “She’ll tell us how good she can be, but I think that she’s good enough. I think she can win this race.”
Biofuel excels on a synthetic surface and ran her best race to date winning the Mazarine at Woodbine by 4 ½ lengths last out at the same 1 1/16m distance of the Juvenile Fillies. Her breeding suggests she’ll love to go long.
“The stallion, Indian Charlie, has a remarkable genetic ability to move his mares up as much as, or better than, any other,” said former Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones, who owns and bred Biofuel and watched her jog on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, the dam (Ms. Cornstalk) was hurt as a foal or yearling and the x-rays at the time indicated that she wouldn’t pass to get into the sales ring,” Jones said. “I didn’t take her to the sales but kept her. There proved to be nothing wrong with her. And now she has given us this very nice filly.”
Jones said that he will take the red-eye flight back to Kentucky right after Biofuel’s race because he is actively involved in state politics and is dedicating himself to preserving the horse racing industry in Kentucky.
“I spend the majority of my time on this issue,” he said. “It is imperative that changes are made to save our industry.”
Blind Luck – A trip to the paddock during the second race Thursday was the highlight of the 2yo filly’s day as she moved closer to a Friday start in the Juvenile Fillies, where she is listed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite off her solid victory in the Oak Leaf Stakes.
The daughter of Pollard’s Vision started her training with a 1 1/2m gallop over the main track for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
Champagne d'Oro – Nick Hines, racing manager for owner Mike Moreno's Southern Equine Racing, hopes Champagne d’Oro can produce a “big pinch-hit” for sidelined stable star Mi Sueno.
Mi Sueno loomed as one of the early favorites for the Juvenile Fillies after victories in the Sorrento Stakes and Darley Debutante at Del Mar. A few weeks later, the filly fractured her right front ankle training at Hollywood Park and underwent surgery to have three screws inserted, her racing career probably over.
"It was a big blow to the program in more ways than you can imagine,” Hines said."It takes the wind out of your sails, but it happens to the best of us."
Champagne d'Oro raced in the shadow of Mi Sueno and finished eighth against colts in the Del Mar Futurity because the stable did not want to race the two fillies against each other in the Debutante.
"She has progressed so well we decided to give her a shot in this race,” Hines said. “The theory is we're going in with no expectations. With 2-year-olds, anything is possible."
The lone maiden in the lineup for the Juvenile Fillies jogged 2m on the main track Thursday under exercise Joe Duran.
Connie and Michael - The Roman Ruler filly, looking to make history as the only 2yo to win a Breeders’ Cup race off just one previous start, galloped 1 1/2m on Thursday for trainer Kenny McPeek.
Devil May Care – The synthetic track could be the major question mark for the daughter of Malibu Moon, who comes into the Juvenile Fillies 2-for-2 with wins over sloppy and fast dirt tracks. Both times she had issues at the starting gate.
“She didn’t break great the first time; the second time she stumbled,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, who is seeking his first Breeders’ Cup victory in a 2yo race. “I think she’s gifted enough that she was able to overcome both situations. She’s a nice filly. She seems to like the track here.”
The Frizette winner was out for a 1 1/4m gallop Thursday morning in preparation for her race on Friday.
Ms Vanenzza – According to trainer Juan Vazquez, the 2yo daughter of Successful Appeal, who arrived Tuesday, has taken kindly to her surroundings and Santa Anita’s synthetic surface.
“She’s gone to the track two consecutive mornings and is handling it well,” Vazquez said of his Juvenile Fillies contender, who has raced on dirt in her two previous starts. “She’s feeling good, just like me.”
According to Vazquez, owner Florence Patitucci, a mid-Atlantic hotel mogul, will arrive Friday morning.
“It was her idea to come here, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Vazquez said. “I’m just going to relax and enjoy the Breeders’ Cup experience.”
Ms Vanenzza drew post two of 12 for the Juvenile Fillies, which is just fine by Vazquez.
“I’m very happy with the post,” he said. “Our plan is to break good, save ground, sit in the middle (of the pack) and close.”
Negligee – The Alcibiades winner galloped about 1m under exercise rider Simon Harris at Santa Anita Thursday before being pronounced ready for the Juvenile Fillies.
“Everything’s gone really well. It couldn’t have gone better,” trainer John Terranova said. “(Shipping cross-country) can be tough on some, but it hasn’t affected her. She’s shipped before. It really hasn’t been a concern. She’s taken to the track really well and breezed over it.”
Negligee shipped to Keeneland the day before she scored in the Alcibiades under Rajiv Maragh, who will have the return mount.
She Be Wild – For several years, trainer Wayne Catalano trained horses almost exclusively for owner Frank C. Calabrese. The pair teamed up to win the 2006 edition of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies with Dreaming of Anna, and ran her brother Lewis Michael in three consecutive Breeders’ Cup races (’06-08).
The two went their separate ways this past winter, and Catalano was forced to start from scratch, but he rebuilt quickly and returns to the Breeders’ Cup hoping to add another Juvenile Fillies score to his training resume.
“I was a little surprised we got going as soon as we did,” Catalano said of the process of reconstructing his stable. “We made some good connections and have gotten some good opportunities.
“A lot of people have given me a chance, which is what you need. Without horses you're out of business. Everything went smoothly. We were happy with our Arlington meet.”
Catalano earned another Arlington training title this year, his eighth in the last 10 years, but unlike past seasons when claimers carried most of the water, it was a strong band of young horses that were getting their picture taken.
“In this business, when you wake up early seven days a week to go to work, you need to have something to look forward to,” Catalano said. “In this game, nothing can replace the opportunity to develop young horses. When you have a young horse with potential, there's always a chance they can take you where you want to go. She Be Wild is one of those kind of horses.”
Zilva – Zilva schooled in the paddock Thursday morning after galloping 1 1/2m under Alice Clapham in preparation for a start in the Juvenile Fillies.
The Augustin Stable’s homebred filly had been pre-entered for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, as well as the Juvenile Fillies. Although the daughter of Successful Appeal broke her maiden on turf, trainer Graham Motion opted for the main-track race in order to avoid a clash with stablemate Smart Seattle in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
“It was never my intention to run them against each other,” Motion said.
Zilva, who finished fourth after a slow start in the Alcibiades at Keeneland will be ridden by Jeremy Rose.