The Breeders’ Cup is several months away, but that does not mean it is too early to start looking at who the sports’ next superstars might be.
It is usually a bit easier to get a handle on who the prospective Juvenile Fillies contenders are once they have run at distances of seven furlongs or longer. The Juvenile Fillies is a 1 1/16 mile race over the dirt. At this stage, not too many have run beyond six furlongs, if even that. The best way to assess future talent is to visually observe the horses and try to get a handle on which are just sprinters and which ones have the potential to stretch out.
A promising filly Woebegone began her career by breaking her five furlong maiden race and getting an 84 Beyer Speed Figure, one of the best among her age and sex. As a result, she entered the six furlong Landaluce Stakes as the odds on favorite, but it became clear nearing the far turn that she was having trouble keeping up with the leaders, though she seemed to be moving well.
It is clear that she will likely get the distance for the Juvenile Fillies, but the horse that won the Landaluce looked much more promising. Killer Graces was still several lengths behind in mid stretch and was covering a lot of ground with each and every stride and ran down the frontrunner. She just had the appearance of a horse that could go at least a couple furlongs longer, and she is certainly one to watch.
Mighty Caroline had a three length lead in mid stretch of the Landaluce but Killer Graces made too much ground on her in just twelve or thirteen seconds, which makes me think that maybe Mighty Caroline will be a competent sprinter, but not much more.
Shocktime took the $100,000 TTA Sales Futurity at Lone Star Park and run at five furlong. She completed the race in 58.61, romping by over twelve lengths. She is definitely one to watch.
Another one to watch is Tu Endie Wei, who won the five furlong My Dear Stakes at Woodbine on June 25, 2011. Turning into the stretch, she trailed the leader by three lengths, but it was clear she was gathering momentum and soon rolled by the leader like a freight train. She blew by the pacesetter with long and powerful strides to win by five lengths. Tu Endie Wei is a two year old daughter of 2003 Breeders’ Cup Turf Classic winner, Johar.
We would be amiss if we did not mention the winner of the Grade 2 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park on July 3, 2011, Millionreasonswhy. She took dead aim at the frontrunner Say a Novena in mid stretch and drew away well, although that one actually hung in there pretty well late, finishing just two lengths behind the winner. Both of these are ones to watch for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
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