LOUISVILLE, KY - In recent years the European contingent have had a strangle-hold on the turf races at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, but the Juvenile Fillies Turf tonight over one mile is a race that has yet to be exported across the Atlantic.
The race was only conceived in 2008, so the Europeans have nothing to be too disheartened about, and they look to have a strong contender for glory here with the John Gosden-trained Elusive Kate.
The daughter of Elusive Quality has won her previous four starts, the last of which came on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day, where she slipped in under the radar to win the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at 4/1. On that occasion she saw off the challenge of the Freddie Head-trained Zantenda, one of the most-hyped fillies in France, so she deserves the utmost respect in this contest.
Elusive Kate is available to back at 7/2 with Ladbrokes and Coral, and she should have no trouble with the trip and ground conditions, but her post position in 10 is not the best. However to her credit she will be steered by one of the top jockeys in the business, young William Buick, and she was recently purchased by Danedream’s owner, Terry Yoshida.
Next in the betting is the unbeaten Somali Lemonade, who will be many people’s idea of the ‘banker’ in the race and will be the favorite to win with some pundits. She has remained at Keeneland since her win in a Grade 3 last month where she came from last to first, and looks a fair wager at 11/2 with William Hill. Her jockey is Alex Solis, but she faces a tough task from the outside stall, 14 of 14.
At 10/1 with Irish bookie Paddy Power is Stopshoppingmaria, who went into plenty of notebooks with a devastating maiden win at Saratoga on her second start by ten lengths. She then disappointed in the Frizette Stakes when sent off as the even-money favourite, but the filly who beat her, My Miss Aurelia, is 3/1 in the betting to win the Juvenile Fillies on the dirt later on the same card. If Stopshoppingmaria can win here from post four under Javier Castellano on her first turf start, My Miss Aurelia will be all the rage later on.
Another intriguing contender is the filly who comes over from Ireland, Up, who is trained by Ballydoyle maestro Aidan O’Brien. She is at 10/1 with Ladbrokes and has the assistance of Ryan Moore. She was well-supported in the betting at Dundalk last time out, so she is clearly well-regarded by a stable that likes to get the money down, and she is by sire-of-the-moment Galileo.
Dayatthespa has a decent draw in two and is 11/1 with Betfred, but she was quoted at 8/1 earlier this week and has been unpopular in the betting.
Both at 12/1 with Boylesports, Stephanie’s Kitten and Sweet Cat are both each-way chances, with slight preference for the latter due to the Garrett Gomez effect. Even so, Sweet Cat is held by Somali Lemonade on the Keeneland form, but her connections can hope that the second-favorite will struggle from her horror draw.
Pure Gossip was nibbled in this morning from 14/1 into 12/1 with bet365. She is a daughter of Pure Prize and punters may be latching on to the fact that she was supplemented for the race for a huge outlay of $100,000.
At 20/1 with Boylesports, Dear Lavinia looks exposed and has a pretty wide draw, and it is not often you see Breeders’ Cup challengers contesting these top races having form at provincial tracks like Craon in France. Still, if anyone can get her home, it will be Christophe Lemaire, who will be riding with confidence having won his first Melbourne Cup this week with Dunaden.
The horse in stall one, My Gi Gi, is ruled out by the bookmakers at 40/1, but it is interesting to see reserve Karlovy Vary shorter in the betting than several horses who are confirmed runners. She is a daughter of Dynaformer and is well-regarded, and punters can back her at 33/1 with William Hill safe in the knowledge that their stakes will be refunded if she does not get a run.
The race is due off at 4:50pm ET on Friday 4th November and is live on ESPN2 in the US.
For UK-based punters the traps will open at 8:50pm and AT The Races (Sky Channel 415) will be picking up the ESPN feed.