Not carded on either day of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships is another race commanding respect, and the victor’s crown rests squarely on the regal head of More Than Ready. The 24-year-old star sire is internationally esteemed, with his scion collecting graded stakes wins in twelve countries, taking Grade and Group 1 races across seven. Seven is also the number of Breeders’ Cup races his progeny have won, which puts him on top of the championships’ stallion list. In 2010, Pluck and More Than Real took the Juvenile Turf and Juvenile Fillies Turf, respectively. A year later, Regally Ready won the Turf Sprint. In 2017, Rushing Fall scored the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Roy H prevailed in the Sprint, a race he won again in 2018. Then, in 2019, Uni (GB) beat the boys in the Mile, while Structor, a son of Palace Malice out of a full sister to More Than Real, won the Juvenile Turf.
In the 2021 Juvenile Fillies Turf, More Than Ready is represented by three hopefuls. Arnaud Delacour has entered Koala Princess, two-for-two after exiting the 6.5 furlongs Ainsworth Stakes at Kentucky Downs. She is out of Koala Queen, a daughter of Australian Horse of the Year and influential sire, Lonhro (AUS). Koala Queen’s half-sister produced Collected, who won the Pacific Classic (G1) ahead of a runnerup finish to Gun Runner in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic. The extended family also includes European champion miler and important sire, Blushing Groom (FR).
Chad Brown has two to start with Haughty now making the field following Diamond Wow being withdrawn. The Empire Maker filly was disqualified from her open-lengths, debut score at Belmont and came back with a vengeance, returned to the condition at Keeneland, where she scored by four. She’s out of the Kingmambo mare, Soaring Emotions, making her a half-sister to Sapling winner Souper Colossal, and her high-weighted, great-grandmother, Caerlina (IRE), won the Prix de Diane, aka, the French Oaks (Gr1). Brown’s other entrant is More Than Ready filly Consumer Spending, who has won two-of-three, and exits a 2-1/2 length win in the Selima Stakes at Laurel Park. Her Scat Daddy dam is out of a multiple graded stakes winning daughter of El Prado (IRE) named Shaconage, and Shaconage’s own mother, Carita Tostada (CHI), won the Gran Premio Hipodromo Chile (Gr1). The family also includes graded-stakes winner and sire Horse Greeley.
Another trainer starting two is Brad Cox. Bubble Rock, a homebred for Shortleaf Stable, has won two-ofthree starts, all turf sprints, including the Matron (G3). This daughter of More Than Ready could enjoy the opportunity to stretch out. Her broodmare sire is 2000’s Cartier Horse of the Year, Giant’s Causeway, who was runner-up to Tiznow in that year’s Classic. Bubble Rock’s dam is a half-sister to Blue Chipper, a son of Tiznow, who finished third in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. The filly’s 2nd dam, Dixie City, won the Demoiselle (G2) at two, and is a full sister to stakes-place Union City, who went on to produce multiple graded-stakes winner and sire, Unified.
Cox also has Turnerloose, by 2015’s Juvenile champion Nyquist out of Goaltending, by Classic winner and Hall of Famer, A.P. Indy. Turnerloose’s second dam is also notable, being Game Face, whose wins include the Princess Rooney (G1). Turnerloose is two-for-three, suffering her first defeat after getting caught late to lose by a mere neck to California Angel in the “Win and You’re In” Jessamine (G2) at Keeneland.
California Angel has captured hearts, picked up for a mere $5,500 by her trainer George Leonard III. The chestnut has now earned $213,700, going two-for-three, with her only loss coming in a dirt sprint after acting up. She’s a daughter of two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome, and is out of Sea Mona, by Kentucky Jockey Club winner Tiz Wonderful. Sea Mona was second in the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar back in 2014 and is a half-sister to stakes winners Let Em Shine and Golden Diamond. Also worthy of note is California Angel’s maternal grandmother, Justaspell, is a daughter of Johannesburg, who went undefeated at two-years-old, capping his season with his first bid on dirt in the Juvenile, earning champion titles on both sides of the pond.
As for the rest of the anticipated field, well, it’s deep. There’s Cachet (IRE), a daughter of Prix de la Foret (Gr1) winner Aclaim (IRE) out of a daughter of champion juvenile Teofilo (IRE), for George Boughey. She is the most seasoned of the bunch, with seven lifetime starts. She’s won just once, but she’s been in the money on five occasions, including last out in the Fillies’ Mile (Gr1) at Newmarket, 2-3/4 lengths back of the supremely talented, undefeated Inspiral (GB). This was following a runner-up performance to fellow entrant Hello You (IRE) in the “Win and You’re In” Rockfel Stakes (Gr2).
Hello You (IRE) is a daughter of the brilliant Invincible Spirit (IRE), whose progeny roll impressively at two, and out of Lucrece (GB) by tremendous broodmare sire and Gr1 winner, Pivotal (GB). Lucrece (GB)’s half-brother by Invincible Spirit (IRE), Signs of Blessing (IRE), is a Gr1 winner, with the Prix Maurice de Gheest to his credit. The family also includes Gr1 winner Nadia (GB), who won the Prix Saint-Alary.
Prior to her score in the Rockfel (Gr2), Hello You (IRE) was fourth, beaten 1-3/4 lengths in the Prestige Stakes (Gr3), which was won by Mise En Scene (GB). The James Ferguson trainee had previously won her debut at Haydock by four lengths, and most recently finished just a nose behind Cachet (IRE) in the aforementioned Fillies’ Mile (Gr1) at Newmarket, and after a bad trip. Her own influential sire, Siyouni (FR), won the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at two, and is a son of Pivotal (GB). Mise En Scene (GB) is out of an unraced daughter of the great Galileo (IRE), and, as you’d expect, hails from a prolific family, which includes Gr1 winning high-weights Speciosa (IRE) and Pride (FR), as well as Touching Wood, who won both the English and Irish St. Leger Stakes.
Another entrant out of a Galileo (IRE) mare is Pizza Bianca, whose breeder and owner, celebrity chef Bobby Flay, won this race in 2010 with More Than Real. Pizza Bianca is by champion sprinter Fastnet Rock (AUS) and out of White Hot (IRE), an unraced, three-quarter sister to 2011’s Epsom Derby winner and sire, Pour Moi (IRE). She’s trained by Christophe Clemente, who was second in this Breeders’ Cup division with Best Performance in 2017. Pizza Bianca impressively closed into a slow pace to win her debut over good going at Saratoga and, in just the second start of her career, put in a game effort to ultimately finish 2nd to Charlie Appleby shipper Wild Beauty (GB) in the “Win and You’re In” Natalma Stakes (G1) at Woodbine. Notably, Wild Beauty (GB) next ran fifth, beaten 3-1/2 lengths by Inspiral (GB) in the Fillies’ Mile (Gr1), which, again, Cachet (IRE) and Mise En Scene (GB) are exiting.
Like Pizza Bianca, Cairo Memories also enters the race off two starts. She won her debut by 4-1/2 lengths at Del Mar ahead of a 2-1/4 lengths victory in the Surfer Girl Stakes for trainer Bob Hess, Jr. She’s by Cairo Prince, who won the Nashua Stakes (G2) at two, and out of a daughter of Indian Charlie, whose Indian Blessing and Uncle Mo won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and Juvenile, respectively. Cairo Memories also hails from the female family responsible for Hall of Famer Majestic Prince.
With the withdrawal of Zain Claudette (IRE), Helens Well (IRE) draws into the field for trainer Phil D’Amato. She was imported to the United States following her fourth-place debut at Roscommon and won first time out for the barn, picking up a maiden special weight at Del Mar. She was beaten just a head there next out in the Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes after having drawn post #11. While she did go off as favorite in the Surfer Girl, she again had to settle for second, this time to Cairo Memories, after trip issues. Helens Well (IRE) is a daughter of Kodi Bear (IRE), a multiple group-wining son of Invincible Spirit (IRE)’s three-quarter brother, Kodiac (GB), who’s also proven an important sire. Of keen interest in this filly’s pedigree is the fact her dam, Ever Evolving (FR), an unraced daughter of Elusive Quality, hails from the family responsible for producing Invincible Spirit’s own sire, Gr1 sprinter Green Desert, which, by the way, happens to be the same which produced California Chrome.
Representing the second crop of Gr2 winning sprinter Mehmas (IRE) is Malavath (FR), trained by Francis- Henri Graffard. Her dam, Fidaaha (IRE) is a full sister to Ceisteach (IRE), whose wins include the Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (G3). Fidaaha (IRE) is also a half-sister to Steip Amach (IRE), who counts the Killavullan Stakes (Gr3) among her wins. Perhaps one of the most “fun facts” to point out regarding this filly’s family is that it includes the great Shergar (GB), 1981’s Epsom and Irish Debry winner, who years later was kidnapped and never found.
Wrapping up our preview is Sail By, a cleverly named daughter of Astern (AUS), who won the 2016 Golden Rose Stakes (Gr1) in Australia. The filly’s dam is Fly By, whose own sire, Johar, gave us one of the most memorable moments in Breeders’ Cup history, when he dead-heated for the win with High Chaparral in the 2003 Turf. Saily By is trained by Leah Gyarmati and is coming in off a win in the Miss Grillo Stakes (G2). In 2016, Gyarmati sent out Coasted to a show dough finish in the Miss Grillo ahead of just coming up a ½ length short of New Money Honey in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at 23-1.
Options and storylines abound in this edition of the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Whoever ends up crossing the wire in first, it still bears repeating that reputation of More Than Ready at the championships, and beyond, is something to respect. When we consider the kind of consistent, win-early quality he imparts, you can’t help but muse how aptly named he is, especially with three daughters ready to roll just in this one race.
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Article courtesy of Ren Carothers and Breeders’ Cup
With #6 Makin My Move trying to keep to her name from behind, Bubblerock (#7 outside), under Irad Ortiz, Jr., takes the challenge from Gal in a Rush (#3) but beats her to the wire, Dylan Davis up, to win the G3 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 9, 2021. Photo courtesy of EclipseSportswire