Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®
Daily Cup Update: Juvenile Fillies, Wednesday, Nov. 3
A Z Warrior – The 2yo daughter of Bernardini accompanied Classic contender Lookin At Lucky to the racetrack on Wednesday morning directly after the renovation break and galloped a lap around the track under exercise rider Peter Hutton. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert reported no issues with A Z Warrior, the 7-2 morning line favorite for the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
“You have to at least give her a lot of consideration,” he said. “Nothing bothers her, she’s got a great mind, and all of her siblings can run. None of them have won going two turns but she’s by Bernardini, so I don’t see why she can’t. She’s coming into this race training as well as she did at Belmont so I think she’ll run a big race.”
A Z Warrior won the Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 9 last out.
Awesome Feather – In 2009, trainer Stanley Gold trained the Jacks or Better Farms’ 2yo colt Jackson Bend to a sweep of the Florida Stallion series at Calder. Jackson Bend didn’t make the Breeders’ Cup, but the undefeated freshman filly Awesome Feather, who has followed a similar path for the same connections, has.
“Jackson didn’t go (to the Breeders’ Cup) because we didn’t want to travel to California and run off a three-week layoff,” Gold said. “People knocked his credentials, but this year (after a private sale) he was beaten only 1 ½ lengths in the Preakness. This year, the naysayers are knocking our filly’s pedigree and her competition. We hope she’s as good as we think she is. Friday’s (Juvenile Fillies) will be the real acid test.”
Awesome Feather is perfect from five starts, and was last seen winning her two-turn debut in the restricted My Dear Girl Stakes at Calder by 8 ¼ lengths.
“We’ve had high hopes all along,” Gold said. “She’s stepped up each time. We thought after the second Stallion Stakes (Aug. 28) that she might be Breeders’ Cup caliber. We were confident she’d be at her best around two turns, and she did nothing to change our minds last time out.”
Believe in A. P. – Well beaten in two of three starts in New York to begin her career, Jay Em Ess Stable’s Believe in A. P. broke through with an emphatic maiden score last out at Parx Racing for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. If given a choice, Dutrow may have taken a different path here, but he’s reached his goal of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies nonetheless.
“She was ready to run a week after she got to our barn in the beginning of the summer and she’s wanted to go long on the dirt from day one,” Dutrow said. “We ran her on the turf because I couldn’t get a spot on the dirt going long for her. I figured the turf races would give her some great experience as a racehorse and we would get back on the dirt when we could.”
That opportunity came on Oct. 9 at Parx when she broke her maiden by more than 12 lengths “under wraps.”
Delightful Mary – Delightful Mary was on the main track on Wednesday for her 1 1/4 m gallop when a loose horse stirred up a bit of excitement, although no damage was done.
“She always seems to be around when trouble comes,” trainer Mark Casse said. “But she’s fine. She showed off for the cameras some, but she’s a laid back filly.”
Delightful Mary, a chestnut 2yo Limehouse filly who was the Ocala Breeders’ Sales topper at $500,000 this past April, is aptly named.
“She is a sweetheart and a real doll to be around,” said Kathryn Sullivan, an assistant to Casse. “She has a lovely personality and is the barn favorite. She’s very spoiled and we keep a big supply of mints around for her.
“If you didn’t know her, you’d think she was sick because she’s so calm and easy-going all of the time,” Casse said “But when it’s time to run, she knows exactly what that means. She is truly delightful and is delightful to train.”
Casse finished second in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf with Canadian Filly Triple Crown winner and Canadian Horse of the Year Sealy Hill. Delightful Mary, second in the Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine last out, will be his eighth Breeders’ Cup starter.
Harlan's Ruby – The Harlan’s Holiday filly, entering the Juvenile Fillies off a second in the Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland, stood in the starting gate and then galloped 1 1/2 m on Wednesday.
“She’s doing good; they all are,” said trainer Ken McPeek, who will have four Breeders’ Cup starters.
Indian Gracey – Maiden winner Indian Gracey galloped once around Wednesday morning for owner-trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The California-based trainer often owns varying percentages of the horses he trains in partnerships, but he is the sole owner of Indian Gracey.
“I saw her at OBS (April 2yo sale) and when no one wanted to go in with me on her, I bought her for myself,” Hollendorfer said of the Indian Ocean filly he purchased for $34,000.
“She was beaten only a length in the Oak Leaf Stakes and has worked really good. Joe Ferrer, the agent for Rafael Bejarano, wanted to get back on her. She fits really well here, especially because she’s been around two turns and most of the others haven’t.”
Izshelegal – A full week of training is in the works for this maiden daughter of Maria’s Mon, who is stakes-placed twice and just missed two other times in her four-race career.
She galloped 1 1/2 m Wednesday as she moved forward toward the Juvenile Fillies for trainer Terry Knight and co-owner Robert Rowell’s 3R3 Racing. Rowell is president of the National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors.
“So far, she has done really well here,” Knight said Wednesday morning. “She looks good going over the track. She’ll wear blinkers for the first time in her races on Friday.”
Knight said he possibly will take her to school in the gate on Thursday.
Jordy Y – Known for his ability to win with 2-year-olds, trainer Wayne Catalano, who won the Juvenile Fillies in 2006 with Dreaming of Anna and 2009 with She Be Wild, knows a good one when he sees it, and his Juvenile Fillies contender Jordy Y fits the bill.
“She’s definitely got talent,” Catalano said. “She’s matured right along. She’s got no quirks or kinks to work out. She does everything right.”
Jordy Y began her career at Arlington, winning her first two starts in professional fashion.
“Anytime you take a 2-year-old filly, win the first time and beat the boys second time out, you’re pretty good”, Catalano said. “Her (speed) numbers haven’t been real big, but she’s done it real good. I think she’ll get better.”
All three of her career starts have come on Polytrack, the first two at Arlington, and the third in the Alcibiades at Keeneland.
“She may be a dirt horse,” Catalano said “She’s bred for dirt, and she seems to like this track a lot. In the afternoon, when the track is a little bit tighter, she should like it even better.”
Jordy Y finished third behind gate-to-wire winner Wickedly Perfect in the Alcibiades at Keeneland last out, but Catalano believes with different tactics, she could have won.
“If we take advantage of our break, the way speed was holding that day, it would have been a different race for us,” Catalano said. “The rider backed her up and didn’t take advantage of the track and the situation. We got a good (two-turn) race under her like we did last year (with Juvenile Fillies winner She Be Wild). Maybe it will work for us again.”
Joyful Victory – Fox Hill Farm’s Joyful Victory, who will have the advantage of breaking from post six under Ramon Dominguez, galloped 1 1/8 m on Wednesday and trainer Tony Dutrow planned to school her in the paddock during the afternoon.
He expressed pleasure with the Ontario-bred daughter of Tapit, who finished third in the Frizette at Belmont in her last start.
“I’m very happy with her,” Dutrow said. “She couldn’t be better.”
R Heat Lightning – One of 11 Todd Pletcher Breeders’ Cup contenders, the daughter of Trippi went out for a controlled gallop around the main track at Churchill Downs Wednesday morning. She drew post three in a field of 13 on Tuesday.
“I think she’ll settle if she can get herself to the first turn and put herself in position where she’s in the clear and kind of gets into a comfort zone,” Pletcher said of the Spinaway winner.
“If she’s bottled up in behind horses and they slow it down in front of her, then that would be a concern. She’ll be OK if we can get her into a free-running state – whether that’s on the lead, second, third or fourth – just so that she’s in the clear.”
The Frizette runner-up was made the second choice on the morning line at 4-1 and will be ridden by John Velazquez.
Soundwave – The Friends Lake filly had a strong 1m gallop on Wednesday and trainer Ronny Werner is hoping she didn’t go too fast.
“She was a little stiff (meaning fast) out there,” Werner said. “She was really pulling and on the muscle, which is a good sign because it shows she’s ready. I just didn’t want her going so fast.”
Soundwave drew post 11 of 13, but Werner isn’t concerned about the outside post.
“She’s a latch leave,” Werner said. “She can get herself out there and put herself into a position. I like her chances better than (morning line maker Mike) Battaglia (who has the filly at 20-1) because I do think she’ll get the two turns.”
Tell a Kelly – The lightly-race filly galloped 1 1/2 m for exercise rider Jose Alferez Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs, going to the track at approximately 6:15 with trainer John Sadler looking on.
Her drop-back style in races allowed Sadler to not be concerned by her draw in post 12 for the 13-horse lineup for Friday’s Juvenile Fillies, where her partner will be Churchill ace Calvin Borel, the second-leading rider all time under the Twin Spires.
The trainer also noted that the chestnut daughter of Tapit would paddock school Wednesday afternoon with the horses for the second race.
Theyskens' Theory – Trainer Brian Meehan accompanied Juvenile Fillies contender Theysken’s Theory to the track for a gallop, letting the filly gallop once around.
The filly, owned by New Yorker Andrew Rosen, was sent to Meehan as a yearling and has fared well on turf, winning the Prestige Stakes before finishing third in the Fillies Mile. By Bernardini, out of Heat Lightning, by Summer Squall, Theysken’s Theory is a half-sister to 2005 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Stevie Wonderboy.
“I haven’t tried her on dirt at home because I didn’t think it was necessary,” Meehan said of her preparation. “She has breezed on the bends at home, and she loves it going left-handed. She’s gutsy, and has a good draw.”
Theysken’s Theory is named for Rosen’s clothing line Theory, and for Olivier Theysken, the designer Rosen hired as artistic director for the line. Rosen is expected to come to Louisville on Thursday.