March 5, 2021

Jessamine the final “Win & You’re In” ahead of 2017 Breeders’ Cup

The 34th annual Breeders' Cup will take place at Del Mar on November 3-4, 2017

Provided the Keeneland turf course has a chance to dry out some by Wednesday, Rushing Fall figures to be the favorite in the $150,000 Jessamine (G3), a “Win & You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge race for the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Del Mar in early November.

However, Mother Nature might not be so helpful. The juvenile colts counterpart, the Bourbon (G3), was washed off the turf on Sunday, and forecasts predict a 60 percent chance of showers both Tuesday and Wednesday in the Lexington area.

Rushing Fall won on debut September 16 at Belmont Park by 1 1/4 lengths as the 9-5 favorite for Chad Brown, who’s trained two of the last three Juvenile Fillies Turf winners. However, both Lady Eli and New Money Honey, who is pointing for Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), both prepped for the Breeders’ Cup in the Miss Grillo (G3) at Belmont.

Thewayiam invades from France, where she won once in three outings. In her most recent start back in July, the Graham Motion trainee finished third in the Prix Roland de Chambure at Saint-Cloud over seven furlongs versus males.

The lone stakes winners in the field are Lady O’Toole, who prevailed by more than three lengths in the $60,000 Happy Ticket at Louisiana Downs in her turf debut last month, and Sunny Skies, who captured the $100,000 Debutante at Churchill in June. The latter has since run third in the Ellis Park Debutante and Pocahontas (G3), and as a daughter of Animal Kingdom might take to the grass.

Mark Casse, who won with five of his first 11 starters the first three days of the Keeneland meet, starts Miss Mo Mentum, a two-length maiden winner at Churchill Downs on September 23 in her fourth career outing. Other last-out graduates in the field include Breaking Beauty, Layla Noor, Cash Out, and Punto de Entrada.

Other possibilities in a wide-open race are Happy Ticket third Rosie O’Prado, the Wesley Ward-trained Mentality, and the Todd Pletcher duo of Sugar Queen and Stainless. The also eligibles She’s All Skeet and Go Noni Go also merit a look if able to draw into the race.