Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf Notes - Thu 10/29

December 10, 2019

Bawina – See European Report

Dacita, Stephanie’s Kitten, Watsdachances – Chad Brown’s three Filly and Mare Turf runners all galloped a 1 3/8 miles on the main track Thursday morning as they prepared for Saturday’s $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at 1 3/16 miles.

Four years after her victory in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, 6yo Stephanie’s Kitten returns in search of a bigger prize and a place in Breeders’ Cup history.

Should she prevail over a grass course where she is 0-for-2, Stephanie’s Kitten would be the first Breeders’ Cup winner to earn a second victory more than two years apart. Eighteen horses have come back to win a second time in the BC. Fifteen of them were successful the following year. Three won after a gap of one year: Da Hoss (1996-98), Ouija Board (2004-06, though she was second in 2005); Secret Circle (2011-2013). Stephanie’s Kitten did not compete in the BC in 2012 and 2013. No other BC winner has returned after missing the event for two years. She failed to complete the double last year, finishing second, but she is back again.

Stephanie’s Kitten has run in four Grade 1 races at Keeneland. She won the 2011 Alcibiades on the synthetic surface at odds of 9-1. She was third as the favorite in the 2012 Ashland on the synthetic and later that year she was sixth as the favorite in the grass in the Queen Elizabeth II. In 2014, she was eighth as the favorite in the Jenny Riley on turf.

Stephanie’s Kitten won her last race, the Flower Bowl at Belmont Park on Oct. 3.

Hard Not to Like – Speedway Stable’s Hard Not to Like was schooled in the paddock between the sixth and seventh race on Thursday afternoon after galloping 1 3/8 mile in the morning.

She was accompanied by stablemate Pure Sensation, who runs in the Turf Sprint.

“We will leave the other two in the barn because their schooling went well yesterday,” said Christophe Clement, the assistant to trainer Christophe Clement, who also sends out Tonalist in the Classic and Red Vine in the Dirt Mile.

Legatissimo – See European Report

Miss France – See European Report

Photo Call – Mrs. P.K. Cooper’s Photo Call galloped 1 1/2m Thursday morning in preparation for a start in Friday’s Filly & Mare Turf.

Trainer Graham Motion saddled Shared Account for a victory in the 2010 Filly & Mare Turf, in addition to scoring with Better Talk Now (2004) and Main Sequence (2014) in the Turf.

“To me the Breeders’ Cup put me on the map in the first place with Better Talk Now. To be honest, it’s something I point for every year. I like it. It’s a special event, an international event, which makes it particularly special.”

Photo Call won the Violet at Monmouth Park before scoring impressively in the Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita last time out.

“She’s really grown up. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she’s won her last two,” said Motion, noting Photo Call is in the Keeneland Sale Monday.

Queen’s Jewell – See European Report

Sharla Rae – The longshot daughter of Afleet Alex went to Keeneland’s training track once again Thursday morning for trainer Doug O’Neill, jogging three-quarters of a mile and galloping 1 ¼ miles under exercise rider Jonny Garcia.

“She’s doing really well and I expect her to run a good race Saturday,” O’Neill said following the exercise over the busy training strip.

Secret Gesture – See European Report

Talmada – See European Report