Breeders Cup: A look at the Juvenile Fillies

By The Rex Factor

At least for one race, to set the tone for the Breeders’ Cup Saturday card, we get a west coast/east coast showdown. The top fillies from each coast are undefeated and should go off as the two top choices. Songbird (10) will break from the outside in the 10-horse field and will be compromised early in the 1 1/16 race but won in frontrunning fashion by almost five lengths in a Grade I last time out at the same distance they’ll run today.

The best from the east is Rachel’s Valentina (9), who is 2-for-2 in one-turn races, winning the 7-furlong Spinaway last out. The daughter of former champions Bernardini and Rachel Alexandra has won both of starts coming from off the pace, whereas Songbird has never trailed at a single call in her three races.

Nickname (7) won the Frizette four weeks back at Belmont; that race has produced 11 winners of this one and is the key prep. Tap to It (2) and Land Over Sea (1) drew the best and are the only others that aren’t 10-to-1 or higher in the morning line.

Considering 17 favorites have won this race, are the others even worth mentioning? Believe it or not, the last two years the winners paid $125.40 and $66.60 on $2 win mutuels, so nothing’s a given. Three of the last five winners have wired the field in this race, so whoever is leading going into the first turn could well turn that trick again, although Keeneland doesn’t have nearly the same speed bias that it did 10 years ago before it went to polytrack (the main track at Keeneland went back to dirt last year).

 

Our latest article is a Preview of the Breeder’s Cup.

What to know: Race 3 on the card; it’s the first of the nine Saturday Breeders’ Cup races at Keeneland

Post time: 12:05 p.m. EDT

Purse: $2 million

Distance: 1 1/16 miles

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