Despite the Juvenile Fillies' Turf being a wide-open race, it is not shaping up as an extremely strong showing of talent. When this is the case, I find that one should always look at the connections of the horses. Certain connections have their respective animals more focused toward the big races, and their records reflect it.
Last year, in the first juvenile turf race of any kind, Aiden O'Brien nearly stole the show with a good second place finish. This year, he returns in the inaugural juvenile filly race with a 12-1 longshot named Heart Shaped. This Storm Cat filly, out of an Alydar mare, is bred to love the harder turf, which she will get at Santa Anita. She was fifth last out in the Cheveley Park Stakes (G1) at six furlongs. I would be more worried about the distance jump if O'Brien had not done something similar with Johannesburg. Not as good as Johannesburg, you say? Not a big deal. This field has no Came Homes, Officers, Repents, or Siphonics in it.
The two Americans who look the most promising will come from opposite sides of the pack. Laragh will be on the lead, especially with her 2 post. I worry about her being able to reproduce her last race (the most impressive prep-race of the field) on 15 days of rest. The other filly is Consequence, who boasts the best pedigree in the field. She is by El Prado, who can produce anything, out of Educated Risk, who was a brilliant dirt miler all 3 years she ran. She was also a half sister to the brilliantly fast Inside Information. Educated Risk, as a juvenile, was second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies to Eliza. Consequence has not run any blockbuster Beyers, but she has looked impressive, and definitely should enjoy firmer turf and a good pace to run at on Friday. I expect her to be passing many horses late, if not all of them.
One of the two fillies to watch out for in this race are Baffert's Internallyflawless, who has a very impressive course and distance win in a maiden race. Baffert steps fillies up who are ready, and if she is in this one (she still has to draw in with a defection), she will be tough. The other is another European named Beyond Our Reach. This filly comes from Group 1's in Europe and will be ridden by Dettori. I expect her to like a harder surface and put on a good show of herself here.
So, as far as dynamite Breeders' Cup connections we have Coolmore over Prado over McGaughey, followed by Baffert and Dettori. Does it get much better?
1. (12) Heart Shaped 12-1
2. (2) Laragh 7-2
3. (7) Consequence 8-1
4. (13) Internally Flawless 8-1
5. (10) Behond Our Reach 15-1