April 12, 2021

La Pelosa, Fog of War win Breeders’ Cup berths at Woodbine in Natalma, Summer

La Pelosa and jockey Jamie Spencer win the Natalma Stakes (Can-G1) at Woodbine on September 16, 2018 (c) WEG/Michael Burns Photography

Both La Pelosa and Fog of War handled the stretch out to a mile beautifully in winning the Natalma (Can-G1) and Summer Stakes (Can-G1), respectively, at Woodbine on Sunday.

In the process, they also earned automatic berths in the Breeders’ Cup juvenile turf races on Futures Stars Friday, November 2, at Churchill Downs. The Natalma and Summer are both part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge series and awarded the winners all-fees paid spots to the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) and Juvenile Turf (G1), respectively.

Godolphin’s La Pelosa is Juvenile Fillies Turf bound while Peter Brant’s Fog of War heads to the Juvenile Turf. Interestingly, La Pelosa’s trainer – Charlie Appleby – has won the Juvenile Turf before (Outstrip in 2013) while Fog of War’s trainer – Chad Brown – has won the Juvenile Fillies Turf (Maram in 2008, Lady Eli in 2014, New Money Honey in 2016 and Rushing Fall in 2017), but neither has won the respective race they qualified to today.

La Pelosa and Fog of War both needed to overtake the late leader in the final strides to get the win on Sunday, but the filly came from way more out of it than did Fog of War, who was closer to the pace. La Pelosa was nearly last early, but reached contention at the top of the stretch turning for home before defeating favored My Gal Better by a comfortable length.

“She did everything right,” jockey Jamie Spencer said. “I just got her into her rhythm where she’s happy and let her take it from there. The pace was strong, so I was a little farther back than I initially planned, but that’s the way it panned out, and she was very brave in the straight when I asked her for a full effort.”

La Pelosa won her career debut but was winless in four starts since before shipping to North America, where Appleby has now won three of seven starts with all three coming in Grade 1 races.

Fog of War (green silks) and jockey Javier Castellano overtake War of Will to win the Summer Stakes (Can-G1) at Woodbine on September 16, 2018 (c) WEG/Michael Burns Photography

Favored Fog of War was much closer to the pace early under jockey Javier Castellano. Longshot Wallace set the pace through opening half before fading through the field at about the midway point. War of Will, who had tracked in second throughout, took command and tried to spurt away from the even-money favorite but yielded late and finished three-quarters of a length behind Fog of War.

“I like the way he did it,” Castellano said. “He’s a very talented horse, and I think the key was I tried to teach him something for the future – for the next race. He’s the kind of horse that you don’t want to be on the front with everybody chasing.”

Unlike the experienced La Pelosa, Fog of War had just a 5 1/2-furlong debut maiden win to his credit before the Summer Stakes, but the sky appears to be the limit for the now unbeaten son of War Front.

“I think he’s got a lot of potential,” Castellano added.