2012 Breeders' Cup: Juvenile Fillies Turf preview

Kitten's Point, one of the contenders for the 20112 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly Turf. - Harry How

Sky Lantern leads a group of classy European horses shipping to Santa Anita to challenge the American contingent.

Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
1 Mile, Turf

Day: Friday, Nov. 2
Post Time: 2:28 p.m. Pacific

A full field of 14 two-year-old fillies will load into the starting gate on Friday for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, led by Sky Lantern (IRE), winner of the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in Ireland on Sept. 9. Any classy European runner is to be respected in a race like the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Sky Lantern is a strong contender for win honors.

The pace of the Juvenile Fillies Turf is a little bit of a mystery at this point -- Manuka Honey was the only filly in the pre-entered field with a clear "need to lead" running style and she didn't draw into the race. Spring Venture has some zip under the hood and could be enticed to go for the lead if jockey Patrick Husbands senses an advantage. Additionally, Waterway Run displayed some speed over in Europe but it remains to be seen whether that will translate to races in North America.

A filly that absolutely can't be ignored in this race is Chad Brown's Watsdachances (IRE), winner of the G3 Miss Grillo at Belmont Park in her last start. Over the last six months, Brown is 12-for-32 with juvenile horses on the turf, a whopping 38% success rate with a unheard of 75% of the starters finishing in the money. If you don't follow horse racing that closely, anything above 20% is considered a very good winning percentage for a trainer; 38% is simply absurd. If you plan to play the exacta, trifecta or superfecta in this race, it's a huge risk to leave out Watsdachances.

The Pick

It's hard to get away from a filly like Sky Lantern in this spot given her form in Europe this fall and the general quality of foreign runners on the grass. She's drawn inside to post position #3, which should allow jockey Richard Hughes to get her covered up early, something typically important for Euro horses. If she maintains her form from her last race, she'll be very tough to beat.

Waterway Run is intriguing given the expected pace of this race (or lack thereof) and her prior races in Europe. Typically, most European runners show a little less speed when shipping to North America due to the difference in courses and strategies. But every once in a while, a European horse that likes to show speed will draw into a race perfectly suited to their running style. This could be that kind of spot for Waterway Run. Could be.

3-Sky Lantern (IRE) (3/1)
6-Wastsdachances (IRE) (4/1)
10-Waterway Run (10/1)

The Field

Post Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Kitten's Point R. Bejarano G. Motion 12/1
2 Summer of Fun R. Dominguez G. Weaver 30/1
3 Sky Lantern (IRE) R. Hughes R. Hannon 3/1
4 Flotilla (FR) C. Lemaire M. Delazangles 8/1
5 Spring Venture P. Husbands M. Casse 5/1
6 Watsdachances (IRE) J. Castellano C. Brown 4/1
7 Oscar Party K. Desormeaux W. Catalano 20/1
8 Tara From the Cape J. Velazquez T. Pletcher 12/1
9 Nancy O (IRE) D. Moran C. Costigan 30/1
10 Waterway Run F. Dettori R. Beckett 10/1
11 Moonwalk C. Lanerie D. Romans 20/1
12 The Gold Cheongsam (IRE) W. Buick J. Noseda 20/1
13 Flashy Ways J. Talamo R. Baltas 10/1
14 Sustained J. Rosario D. Romans 12/1
AE Infanta Branca R. Moore A. O'Brien 15/1
AE Moulin de Mougin C. Nakatani R. Mandella 15/1

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