Trainer Aidan O’Brien is looking to tighten his grip on the Grade/Group 1 wins in a season record Friday and Saturday during the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar, and could kick off the World Championships with a visit to the winner’s circle in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
The one-mile grass contest drew an overflow field of 16, and O’Brien has two of the top contenders in Happily and September. The former, a bay daughter of Galileo, brings a pair of wins in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-G1) and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-Grand Criterium (Fr-G1) into the Juvenile Fillies Turf as well as jockey Ryan Moore. September, a listed-winning filly by Deep Impact, finished third in the Moyglare Stud and just missed by a nose in the Fillies’ Mile Stakes (Eng-G1) in her past pair. Seamie Heffernan has the call.
The international contingent in the opening race of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup also includes Now You’re Talking from O’Brien’s son, jockey-turned-trainer Joseph O’Brien; the Roger Varian-conditioned Madeline; and Juliet Capulet, from trainer John Gosden’s shedrow.
Now You’re Talking, an Irish-bred Zoffany filly is still looking for her first career win but placed in a listed contest two back and was fourth in the Cheveley Park Stakes (Eng-G1) on September 30. Madeline, a listed-winning daughter of Kodiack, was third in the Cheveley Park most recently. Juliet Capulet brings a win in the Rockfel Stakes (Eng-G2) into this spot.
Technically, Capla Temptress wouldn’t be considered one of the international runners considering she’ll be saddled by trainer Bill Mott, but the Lope de Vega filly just joined the Hall of Famer’s shedrow after parting ways with Marco Botti. That horseman sent the bay lass out for a pair of wins to open her career in England, a third-place effort in the Sweet Solera Stakes (Eng-G3), and a victory in Woodbine’s Natalma Stakes (Can-G1) most recently. Joel Rosario was aboard for that latter contest and retains the mount.
Fatale Bere is in the same boat as Capla Temptress. The French-bred daughter of Pedro the Great captured her initial two starts and finished third in the Criterium de l’Ouest for trainer Joel Boisnard, but transferred to Leonard Powell when shipping stateside to take the Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita Park on October 9.
Significant Form would have brought a perfect two-for-two mark into the Juvenile Fillies Turf if the Chad Brown pupil hadn’t been disqualified from her easy debut maiden score. Officially, the gray daughter of Creative Cause broke her maiden last out in the Miss Grillo Stakes (G3) on October 1 at Belmont Park, and gets Irad Ortiz Jr. back aboard. Fellow Brown trainee Rushing Fall is unbeaten from two starts and will seek to make it a perfect three-for-three here under Javier Castellano. The More Than Ready filly broke her maiden going a mile at Belmont Park and was a 3 1/4-length winner of the 1 1/16-mile Jessamine Stakes (G3) at Keeneland last out.
Orbolution broke her maiden in her first try on turf and then romped in the P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga. The Todd Pletcher pupil put in a game run to be third in the Miss Grillo last out and keeps jockey John Velazquez in the irons here. Best Performance has suffered from a case of seconditis ever since breaking her maiden for trainer Christophe Clement on May 17, filling the runner-up spot in the Astoria Stakes, Schuylerville Stakes (G3), Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies Stakes and Miss Grillo. Those latter two were the Broken Vow chestnut’s first tries on turf.
Dixie Moon led the way in the Natalma before winding up second to Capla Temptress, but returned to take the Cup and Saucer Stakes on October 8. The Curlin filly will be making her first start outside Woodbine in this spot. Ultima D just broke her maiden when taking the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies Stakes on September 6, and tries graded rivals for the first time here. Moon Dash broke her maiden in her first start and just missed by a nose in the Surfer Girl Stakes last out.
Retro, third in the Surfer Girl, and Group 3-placed Goodthingstaketime are on the also-eligible list.