Breeders' Cup International Scouting Report: Mother Earth

December 31st, 2020

After looking a bit exposed through the season, Mother Earth improved to place a solid third in the Fillies’ Mile (G1). Yet O’Brien still hasn’t won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, including with more credentialed fillies.

The €150,000 Goffs Orby yearling by Zoffany is a half-sister to Night Colours, whose marquee victory came as a juvenile in last year’s Premio Dormello (G2). They are out of Group 3-placed stakes winner Many Colours, a Green Desert mare from the family of highweight sprinter Dandy Man.

Mother Earth debuted with a second to the speedy Frenetic in an about 5 1/2-furlong dash at Navan. Making good progress to emerge from the chasing pack, Mother Earth was the only rival able to close on Frenetic, who went on to win three stakes.

Thereafter Mother Earth raced exclusively in Group company, beginning with her third in the Albany (G3) at Royal Ascot. Behind the leaders in striking range, Mother Earth had to switch around a rival to rally, but that brief traffic didn’t make her unlucky. She was no match for the burst of six-length romper Dandalla, and favored Setarhe mugged Mother Earth for second late.

Mother Earth broke her maiden next out as the odds-on favorite in the Naas Fillies’ Sprint (G3). She showed speed to attend the pace before kicking away on yielding-to-soft, over an indifferent bunch.

As she renewed rivalry with Frenetic in the Airlie Stud (G2), the 6-furlong distance might have been expected to help Mother Earth in the rematch. Instead, Frenetic repelled her, only to have them both surprised by the 33-1 shot Aloha Star. At least the result looked better when Aloha Star came back to place versus colts in the Phoenix (G1).

Up in trip to 7 furlongs in the Debutante (G2), Mother Earth wound up third to the dynamic duo of Pretty Gorgeous and Shale. While Mother Earth settled off the pace, and had to come around Pretty Gorgeous for room, the top two just looked too good.

In the Moyglare Stud (G1), Mother Earth bustled to the early lead, only to be beaten more than a furlong out. She retreated to a remote 11th of 13 behind Shale and Pretty Gorgeous. That was an anomaly she hoped to rectify in the Prix Marcel Boussac (G1). Unfortunately, she had to be withdrawn due to the contaminated feed that ruled all the Ballydoyle runners out of Arc Day

Mother Earth finally got her rebound chance in the Fillies’ Mile, and she responded to more patient tactics over the extra furlong. Reserved at the rear, she challenged in tandem with the victorious Pretty Gorgeous before deferring. Mother Earth lost second late to Indigo Girl, but she managed to beat Shale who was back in sixth.

(Note that a saddling miscue had Mother Earth carry the wrong saddlecloth number in the Fillies’ Mile, causing a temporary misidentification with stablemate Snowfall in the same race. The result was later corrected to show that it was really Mother Earth in third, not Snowfall who was actually eighth.)

Considering that Mother Earth’s best performance just came at a mile, a repeat of her latest would put her squarely in the mix. She’s handled rain-softened ground well, but her promising debut came on good-to-firm, and she’s employed both forward and off-the-pace styles. The hesitation is that she still smacks more of the minor-award type rather than one ready to jump up.