February 22, 2024

Seven BC Juvenile Fillies Turf hopefuls line up for P.G. Johnson

Orbolution improved stretching out and switching to turf July 23 at Saratoga (Adam Coglianese Photography)

The $100,000 P.G. Johnson, a race won three times by horses that later finished first or second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), has a field of seven entered for its latest renewal Thursday at Saratoga.

The connections of dual champion Tepin will look to win the 1 1/16-mile P.G. Johnson with the maiden Wild N Ready, who rallied for third in her 5 1/2-furlong debut on August 11. The daughter of More Than Ready finished 3 1/4 lengths behind returning rival Romantic Babe, who upset that race 38-1.

“We expect her to move forward off her last race, she was compromised last time ironically by her own horse [stablemate Bridaled Temper],” said Norm Casse, assistant and son of trainer Mark Casse. “If you watch the head-on, she pushed her out to the middle going into the turn. But she’s come back and training really well. She’s breezed awesome and she should be ready.

“We want to get a two-turn race, we feel she’d be much better going two turns,” he added.

Wild N Ready is owned by Robert Masterson and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux, also from Team Tepin.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has not yet won the Johnson, and will send out Orbolution to potentially rectify that. Third in her first two outings, Orbolution successfully stretched out to win over 1 1/16 miles on the turf last month, beating maiden foes by 2 1/2 lengths.

Other last-out graduates lining up include Mentality, a Belmont debut winner for Wesley Ward; Oldfashioned Style, who captured an off-the-turf maiden over seven furlongs August 13; and Sassy Sienna, an odds-on winner of her debut at Indiana Grand for Brad Cox.

The most experienced member of the field is Life Time Citizen. Also an Indiana Grand graduate, she was most recently fourth in the $100,000 Bolton Landing going 5 1/2 furlongs.

Tapitsfly captured the P.G. Johnson en route to Breeders’ Cup glory in 2009, while Johnson winners Watsdachances (2012) and Coasted (2016) later finished second in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.