Juvenile Fillies contender Chocolate Gelato (outside) wins the G1 Frizette (Dom Napolitano)
By Margaret Ransom
The Net Jets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) is one of the initial seven races contested each year since the inaugural event at Hollywood Park in 1984. It is the main event in deciding who will win the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly and of the 38 winners of the race so far, 33 have earned the year-end championship honor, including Echo Zulu at Del Mar 12 months ago.
Of the four Juvenile Filly Eclipse Award winners who didn’t win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, one finished first but was disqualified (She’s A Tiger in 2013 was placed second behind Ria Antonia for interference in the stretch.) The others — Chilukki (1999) and Family Style (1985) were both second in this race while Golden Attraction (1985) was third. Champion Outstandingly in 1984 finished second in the Breeders’ Cup, but was elevated to the win after the disqualification of rival Fran’s Valentine.
Only two winners of this race so far — Open Mind (1988) and Silverbulletday (1998) – have gone on to wear the Kentucky Oaks (G1) lilies the following year and both were also crowned champion 3-year-old filly, too. Others to have won dual championships include Go For Wand (1989, 1990), Beholder (2012, 2013) and Songbird (2015, 2016). Beholder, who was also champion older female in 2015 and 2016, won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) in 2013 and 2016.
Two years ago, Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable’s and Swilcan Stables’ Vequist won this race in the care of trainer Butch Reid and made just one more career start, finishing last in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park. A year ago, Echo Zulu won en route to collecting the division’s Eclipse Award for her connections and after two starts so far this year – a fourth in the Kentucky Oaks and a win in the Dogwood Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs in September – she currently is the morning line favorite for this year’s Filly and Mare Sprint (G1).
D. Wayne Lukas still owns the record for most winners with six (1985, Twilight Ridge; 1988, Open Mind; 1994, Flanders; 1999, Cash Run; 2005, Folklore; and 2014, Take Charge Brandi.) Mike Smith has ridden three winners (2008, Stardom Bound; 2015, Songbird; and 2017, Caledonia Road.) as has Joel Rosario, who was aboard Vequist and Echo Zulu the last two years. He also rode Jaywalk in 2018.
Stardom Bound still holds the stakes record at the current distance, logging 1:40.99 in 2008.