Breeders' Cup International Scouting Report: Snowfall

December 31st, 2020

Competing in several of the same races as Mother Earth, Snowfall has generally finished behind her stablemate. Her main hope in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf is if American conditions suit her better, but that’s not a clear case.

A “cousin” of Juvenile Turf contender Battleground, Snowfall is a Japanese-bred daughter of Deep Impact and Best in the World, who is a full sister to Found. Best in the World captured the Staffordstown Stud at the Curragh as a juvenile and scored her signature win in the 2016 Give Thanks (G3) over 1 1/2 miles at Cork.

Given her pedigree, Snowfall was sure to need longer than 5 1/2 furlongs, so it was no surprise that Mother Earth outmoved her when they took the minor placings in their mutual debut at Navan. Snowfall did well to snatch third to Frenetic and Mother Earth.

Up in trip to 7 furlongs at the Curragh, Snowfall traveled like an odds-on favorite should, full of run while pocketed behind the leaders. Unfortunately, when she went for a seam between them, it tightened up on her, and she clipped heels in a scary incident. Snowfall had the athleticism to regain her balance, and Seamie Heffernan displayed his skills as an equestrian to stay in the saddle, but the race was over for them.

An undeterred Snowfall returned to break her maiden over the same course and distance, beating the filly who’d been the close runner-up in her debacle. She broke a tad slowly, but did not hesitate when racing among foes, and traveled with similar verve before staying on down the outside.

Snowfall’s maiden races have not been a pointer to her efforts in Group company. Out of position after a tardy start in the Silver Flash (G3), she advanced in the stretch and appeared poised to get up for third, only to flatten out and settle for fourth.

Back at the Curragh for the Debutante (G2), Snowfall broke alertly, stalked in second, and struck the front, but weakened to fifth behind Pretty Gorgeous, Shale, and Mother Earth. Although soft ground could have been a factor, she ran a similar race, on good going, in the same venue’s Moyglare Stud (G1). Snowfall tracked before backpedaling to ninth, and there was hollow consolation in the fact she finally finished ahead of Mother Earth (11th).

The stablemates journeyed together for the Fillies’ Mile (G1) at Newmarket (where a saddling mix-up made for temporarily mistaken identities). Both employed hold-up tactics, but Mother Earth responded better with a third-place performance. Snowfall toiled in eighth, appearing to struggle with the track.

If the Keeneland turf is in as good a shape as forecast, Snowfall could run more like her Silver Flash in similar conditions at Leopardstown. Still, Snowfall strikes me as possibly the type to need longer distances, and maturity, before she finds her best form. In that case, her Breeders’ Cup expedition could be more about next year.