Brown holding a strong hand
By Steve Andersen
DEL MAR, Calif. – Rushing Fall and Significant Form spent the late summer and early fall trading victories.
After Rushing Fall won a maiden race Sept. 16 at Belmont Park, Significant Form scored a smart win in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo Stakes on Oct. 1 at Belmont Park. Rushing Fall followed with a dazzling win in the Grade 3 Jessamine Stakes on Oct. 11 at Keeneland.
The fillies are trained by Chad Brown and meet for the first time in Friday’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar. They are certainly from a stable that knows how to win the nation’s richest turf race for 2-year-old fillies.
Brown, who won the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding trainer of 2016, has won a record three of the nine runnings of the Juvenile Fillies Turf since the race was introduced in 2008, including last year with New Money Honey at Santa Anita.
Understandably, the 38-yearold Brown is confident about Rushing Fall and Significant Form’s chances Friday.
“They’re both top prospects in the division,” he said. “We’ve had good luck, and I have a few horses to compare them to.”
Rushing Fall is expected to be favored in the $1 million race at a mile, while Significant Form will be a longer price. They are part of a field of 14 that includes talented runners from England and Ireland as well as throughout the United States.
Europe’s leading hope is Happily, a two-time Group 1 winner in Ireland and France for trainer Aidan O’brien. He also runs September, who was a troubled second in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile on Oct. 13 at Newmarket. Remarkably, O’brien has never won the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Among other contenders, Capla Temptress won the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine in September for trainer Marco Botti of England and has spent the last six weeks based with trainer Bill Mott in New York. Juliet Capulet won the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes on Sept. 29 at Newmarket. The French import Fatale Bere won her American debut in the Surfer Girl Stakes on Oct. 9 at Santa Anita.
Happily is a filly that can give the Brown duo a scare.
Happily won consecutive Group 1 races in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at seven furlongs Sept. 10 at The Curragh in Ireland and the Prix Jean-luc Lagardere Stakes at a mile against males Oct. 1 at Chantilly in France.
For Friday’s race, Happily drew post 2, which is likely to force jockey Ryan Moore to utilize some of her speed to gain a favorable early position.
“She’s usually forward enough,” O’brien said. “She won a Group 1 over seven furlongs.”
September, who beat males in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, breaks from post 10 and should be well positioned as a stalker under jockey Seamie Heffernan.
“They’re two good fillies,” O’brien said. “They were highclass fillies in our part of the world.”
The draw was not as kind to Juliet Capulet, who will start from post 13. Jockey Frankie Dettori fears a wide trip, even though the filly tends to race near the front.
“That’s desperate,” he said of the post position. “You can add 10 points to the odds. If she was 12, she should be 22.”
In England in August, Juliet Capulet was second in the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes at seven furlongs, finishing a length in front of Capla Temptress, who followed with a win in the Natalma Stakes on Sept. 17.
The seven-week gap between the Natalma to the Breeders’ Cup is fine with Mott.
“I think the time for a 2-yearold filly is not a bad thing,” he said.
Juliet Capulet is likely to be challenged early by Ultima D, winner of the Juvenile Fillies Stakes at seven furlongs Sept. 6 at Kentucky Downs in her stakes debut, and Moon Dash, a game second to Fatale Bere.
Ultima D’s best asset may be her speed.
“I think if we can get out in
Significant Form figures to be the longer price of Chad Brown’s Juvenile Fillies Turf entrants.