Homeracing

My Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Picks

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D.S. Williamson

October 12th, 2018

Like all juvenile races at this year's Breeders' Cup, the Tito's Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies takes place on Friday, Nov. 2. Chandelier winner Bellafina should go off as one of chalkiest horses in the two-day racing festival.

Is Bellafina a lock? Or, could some other 2-year-old filly knock the favorite from the winner's circle? Check out my Top 4 picks for the 2018 Tito's Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies!

My Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Picks

1. Serengeti Empress

She crushed her competition by 19 lengths in the Grade 3 Pocohantas. I've watched that race many times, trying like mad to find any flaw in how she ran. I can't find a single flaw, which tells me either she takes the lead and runs them off their feet in the BC Juvenile Fillies, or she lies right off Jaywalk before going right by that foe. I think Serengeti Empress and Jaywalk can run 1-2 around Churchill's oval.

2. Jaywalk

Trained by John Service and ridden by Joel Rosario, Jaywalk made short work of her opponents in the Grade 1 Frizette. She ran race favorite Covfefe out of the money. No easy task because Jaywalk went the first quarter in :22.63. Most feel she only serves as the pace-setter on Nov. 2. I have a different take. I don't believe anybody goes with her if Joel wants the lead. If someone else wants the lead, I think Joel can get her to relax a length or length and a half off. The reason I don't have her on top is because she doesn't look built to negotiate 2-turns the way Serengeti Empress has already done.

3. Restless Rider 

She dominated her foes in the Alcibaides at Keeneland, proving that she has no problem going 2 turns. What's really impressive about the win is how she sat behind a front runner that carved out a :22.86 first quarter mile and a :46.52 half. Restless Rider can keep up with the pace setters before trying to run by those. She looms the biggest danger to the top choices, but I'm not sure if she doesn't bounce off the impressive win. She worked hard to win the Alcibaides even though she dominated her competition while Jaywalk looked like she could run again and Serengeti Empress geared down in the middle of the stretch.

4. Bellafina

Only a second place finish in her maiden race at Los Alamitos keeps Bellafina from a perfect record. She broke her maiden by winning the Grade 2 Sorrento. Since then, she's beat up her foes on the west coast, including Boujie Girl and the Bob Baffert trained Mother Mother. She deserves favoritism, but Bellafina's hard to back to win.

First, I'm not sure how talented the 2-year-old fillies on the west coast are this year. Second, she'll go off the favorite in a race that I feel's much deeper then many horseplayers believe. If the Breeders' Cup were at Santa Anita this year, I'd give her more of a shot.

 

 
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