Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Preview
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) only drew 10 to go 1 1/16 miles over Keeneland’s main track to kick off the BC action on Saturday, and the race appears to be Songbird’s to lose. That dark bay lass has dominated her rivals on the West Coast and will attempt to do so again here.
1: SONGBIRD (7-5) is the top pick, despite her low odds. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee has just been going too well of late to be discounted. She romped at Del Mar in her initial two starts by a combined 11 3/4 lengths, including the Del Mar Debutante (G1), then transferred over to Santa Anita Park to take the Chandelier S. (G1) by 4 1/2 lengths on September 26, just three weeks after the Debutante score. Songbird earned a 102 BRIS Speed rating for her Chandelier victory, the only filly in the field to break a hundred thus far, and looks to lead all the way home under jockey Mike Smith.
2: LAND OVER SEA (8-1) has finished behind Songbird in her last two races and, while I don’t expect her to win on Saturday, there’s a good chance she can show up in the exacta once again at nice odds. Strangely enough, the chestnut filly’s only win to date came when breaking her maiden second out on the turf at Del Mar going a mile. She was second in her debut at Los Alamitos before running third in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) and second in the Chandelier S. (G1). Trained by Doug O’Neill, she garnered a nice 97 BRIS Speed figure for that latter contest and retains the services of jockey Mario Gutierrez.
3: DOTHRAKI QUEEN (10-1) and RACHEL’S VALENTINA (7-2) are going to have to serve as co-third picks. I really like Dothraki Queen, but just can’t leave Rachel’s Valentina out of the top three due to both her talent and loyalty to her dam, Rachel Alexandra. Dothraki Queen earned praise when loping home a seven-length winner of a one-mile Ellis Park turf contest in her debut over the summer, but proved just as successful on the main track when taking the Pocahontas S. (G2) at Churchill Downs next out. The Kenny McPeek charge readied for the Juvenile Fillies with a rallying second in the Alcibiades S. (G1) last out and brings Corey Lanerie along for the ride. Rachel’s Valentina is two-for-two thus far, having broken her maiden and taken the Spinaway S. (G1) at Saratoga for trainer Todd Pletcher. The bay miss was an impressive winner both times and should have no problem stretching out from those sprint contests with Rachel Alexandra and Bernardini as her parents.
Longshot: MA CAN DO IT (30-1) is the reason I didn’t make Dothraki Queen a longshot play. The Dale Romans pupil comes into the Juvenile Fillies still a maiden but has shown progression in each of her three races. After running second at Ellis Park on the main track, she returned in about 2 1/2 weeks to fill that same spot in a six-furlong turf test. Ma Can Do It then showed up at Keeneland for the Alcibiades S. (G1) and reputed herself very well when third at 23-1. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see her do so again on Saturday under Robby Albarado.
Songbird photo courtesy of Benoit Photos