Photo of Mischief Magic by Courtney Snow for Past The Wire
Breeders’ Cup Press Release
LEXINGTON, Ky. – D. J. Stable’s Wonder Wheel rallied from far back to score an emphatic 3-length victory over Leave No Trace to win the 39th running of the $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) for 2-year-olds Friday afternoon at Keeneland.
Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Wonder Wheel completed the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.90. It is the sixth Breeders’ Cup victory for Casse and the first for Gaffalione.
Grand Love opened a daylight advantage on the field of 13 while being tracked by Leave No Trace and You’re My Girl as Wonder Wheel raced near the back of the pack while getting a ground-saving trip.
On the far turn, still on the inside, Wonder Wheel began passing horses. She hit the top of the stretch in third, moved to the outside and passed Leave No Trace at the eighth pole and cruised to victory.
Leave No Trace held the second spot by a length over a fast-closing Raging Sea with Sabra Tuff another 1 ¾ lengths back in fourth.
A Kentucky-bred daughter of Into Mischief out of the Tiz Wonderful mare Wonder Gal, Wonder Wheel improved her record to 5-4-1-0 and increased her earnings to $1,550,725 with Friday’s $1,040,000 check.
NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Quotes
Winning trainer Mark Casse (Wonder Wheel): “I have to watch the replay. I was like ‘oh my goodness.’ She’s usually close. I thought ‘I can’t believe she’s not running.’ She’s tough.
“There was lots of doubt (that we would win) probably the entire race given the way she has run in the past (running on or near the lead). She is just a really good horse. She is just special and now she is going to be champion.”
Winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Wonder Wheel): “She didn’t break very well. I got pushed back a little further than I wanted to be. But when she broke her maiden, she took dirt and went in between horses and I wasn’t too concerned (today). Spots kept opening up inside so I just going forward and it just worked out.”
Second-place trainer Phil Serpe (Leave No Trace): “I thought she ran a very good race. We knew we were going to have to get some position the way the track is playing. The first quarter was a little bit fast, but she ran game. She got the lead. Wonder Wheel beat her. We beat
Wonder Wheel before. We’ll beat her again.”
Second-place jockey Jose Lezcano (Leave No Trace): “My filly broke sharp. I don’t think the position really helped us, but she broke so sharp I had to just let her go. I think she put in a very good race. She’s a nice filly.”
Third-place trainer Chad Brown: (Raging Sea): “Ran well. Somewhere between the three-quarter marker and three and a half, she lost position there. At one point we were beside and a little behind wonder wheel, who had the run of the race and had the horse to do it. (Raging Sea) followed her and was able to get up for a piece. Losing ground maybe cost us second, but even though we lost position, we thought the best horse won today.”
Trainer Brad Cox (beaten favorite Chop Chop): “Didn’t work out very well. She broke, she was fine. She was a little hot in the paddock for me. I didn’t love that. She got pushed wide going into the first turn. She got pushed wide actually by the winner. The winner was ultra-impressive. We just didn’t have much horse.”