2010 Breeders Cup Breeders’ Juvenile Fillies Odds, Picks, Analysis Handicapping Churchill Downs
by Kenneth Strong, Breeders’ Cup Handicapper, Predictem.com
Race 9, Churchill Downs, Friday, November 5, 2010
Age: 2-year-old Fillies, Distance: 1 1/16-miles, Purse: $2,000,000 Surface: Dirt
In the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies were looking for the now filly coming off a sharp route effort, not necessarily a winning race, but a good tough performance. Favorites often win this race, staying reasonably close to the pace is an advantage and a lone speeder can steal it at Churchill Downs as did Flanders in 1994 and Dreaming of Anna in 2006.
Early morning-line favorite Tell a Kelly has Beyer Speed Figures as good or better than any of the other pre-entered fillies, and comes into this race off a tough half-length stretch-battle loss to Rigoletta in a key prep, the mile and a sixteenth Grade 1 Oak Leaf At Santa Anita. She fought on well in that race, but we get the impression that if taken on by a filly with superior courage, she could succumb again late in the drive. Her trainer is also 0-for-19 in Breeders Cup races, which makes us leery. That being said, she would be tough to leave off any tickets.
A Z Warrior and R Heat Lightning ran one-two in another key prep for the Juvenile Fillies, the one-mile Frizette at Belmont, but the pair had dramatically different trips. A Z Warrior forced the pace outside while in hand before opening up into the stretch and holding on to win by 1 -lengths over R Heat Lightning. The latter broke inwards, steadied, was bent in half steadying for the first half mile, and then rallied between horses to gain second late. You have to think this race would have been a photo between the pair had R Heat Lightning received a decent trip, but A Z Warrior certainly looks like shell get the distance on Breeders Cup day, as does her rival. Tough to separate these two based on the Frizette, but well give the edge to A Z Warrior for her trainer Bob Baffert, who has seven Breeders Cup wins from 54 starters including two Juvenile Fillies wins with Silverbulletday (1998) and Indian Blessing (2007),versus Todd Pletcher, who has three Breeders Cup wins from 66 starters.
Awesome Feather ran away from her field in the mile and a sixteenth restricted My Dear Girl Stakes at Calder to remain a perfect 5-for-5 and now gets a serious test of class. Shell have no trouble with the distance and she is undefeated, but we cant see her running away from this bunch in the stretch on the class raise. Could she win? Maybe, but despite having the best last two Beyer Speed Figures in the pre-entries, she doesnt stand out.
Joyful Victory finished third beaten 5 -lengths in the Frizette behind A Z Warrior and R Heat Lightning after making a brief run at the fitter winner, but was making only her second lifetime start while moving up in class from Maiden Special Weight to Grade 1. While she didnt look all that good fading late, you have to give her the benefit of the doubt in that she may have bounced in only her second lifetime start. Difficult to tell which direction this one is headed, but she might be worth including as a long shot on some tickets just in case.
Indian Gracey ran a strong race on the front end while moving up in class from Maiden Special Weight to the Oak Leaf. She tired late to finish third beaten 1 -lengths by Rigoletta and a length by fellow Breeders Cup entrant Tell a Kelly. Her trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is 0-for-5 in the Breeders Cup but has a second, third, fifth and sixth from those starters and feelings are that this natural speed filly could improve in the Juvenile Fillies at a nice price.
Harlans Ruby received a low Beyer Speed Figure finishing second beaten two lengths in the Alcibiades at Keeneland by Wickedly Perfect, but was under a snug hold for much of that race behind a slow pace and did outfinish fellow Juvenile Fillies entrant Jordy Y, who had taken a decent run at the winner before missing the place late by a nose. Jordy Y ran a decent race in the Alcibiades, but the impression was that Harlans Ruby was relishing the mile and a sixteenth distance despite moving up in class from Maiden Special Weight to Grade 1 company, and that she could move forward in the Juvenile Fillies, especially if there is a pace battle. Trainer Kenneth McPeek has four seconds and four thirds from 15 starters in the Breeders Cup and regardless of lower Beyer Speed Figures, well be including Harlans Ruby on some of our tickets in the exotics and in the win spot as a long shot. Jordy Y should also be used on some smaller tickets considering her trainer Wayne Catalano has won the Juvenile Fillies twice with Dreaming of Anna (2006) at Churchill Downs and She Be Wild at Santa Anita last year.
Delightful Mary actually ran a decent race in her final prep for the Juvenile Fillies, finishing second beaten two lengths and garnering an 86 Beyer Speed Figure in Woodbines Mazarine going a mile and a sixteenth chasing a lone speed horse. Not out of it. Soundwave has been winning sprint races with low Beyer Speed Figures and is difficult to make a case for. Believe in A.P. trounced Maiden Special Weight rivals by 12 -lengths at Philadelphia Park in her last and has both a nice pedigree and a three-time Breeders cup winning trainer in Richard Dutrow going for her. Tough to figure what shell do here but she does appear to be moving in the right direction. European shipper Theyskens Theory made a decent bid in the Group 1 Ascot Fillies Mile before finishing third a length behind the undefeated White Moonstone. She will be fit enough, but the Europeans have not had success in this race. Still, trainer Brian Meehan did win the Breeders Cup Turf in 2006 at Churchill Downs with Red Rocks.
Right now were leaning towards Tell a Kelly, Indian Gracey and Harlans Ruby but make sure to check back at Predictem.com for our final 2010 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies picks.
2010 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Pre-Entries with Early Morning-Line Odds
Tell a Kelly (3-1)
R Heat Lightning (4-1)
Awesome Feather (5-1)
A Z Warrior (6-1)
Indian Gracey (10-1)
Joyful Victory (15-1)
Harlan’s Ruby (15-1)
Delightful Mary (15-1)
Believe in A.P. (20-1)
Theyskens’s Theory (20-1)
Jordy Y (30-1)