Breeders' Cup - At The Races

19:00 Del Mar (USA) (Dirt) 4 Nov 2017

Race 4 - 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade 1) (2YO only)

Winner $1,260,000 - 13 ran

Weighed In

Despite scoring at 28-1, last year's victory by Champagne Room reinforced the trend that the Chandelier Stakes, along with the Alcibiades and the Debutante, is a premier trial for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

The market has evidently cottoned on to this, as Moonshine Memories is the favourite in the Juvenile Fillies, having won both the Debutante (here at Del Mar) and the Chandelier. She brings a string of three 80+ Beyer Speed Figures to this and looks sure to go well again. Odds of 3-1 look fair for Moonshine Memories.

She held the runner-up in the Chandelier, Alluring Star, rather easily in the end, but it is worth noting that Alluring Star went too quick early. The true margin probably exaggerates the difference between the two and with Alluring Star in Bob Baffert’s capable hands, she could go close and will certainly be a pace factor.

Heavenly Love, the Alcibiades winner, improved massively for her debut over an inadequate five furlongs and has since won both her starts by wide margins. Having broken her maiden on turf over six furlongs, she took the step up to a mile-and-a-sixteenth and switch to dirt in her stride when blowing her rivals away in the Alcibiades. The Beyer was solid, if a bit below Moonshine Memories' best, and she is certainly striding forward at an impressive rate. Her proven finishing ability is likely to be an asset and 4-1 would be a fair price for her.

Separationofpowers poses a real puzzle for the handicapper, having lurched from the sublime to the underwhelming, and back again, in her short career. Sandwiched either side of a bitterly disappointing third of five in the Spinaway – where she contested a furious pace - are two wins with figures that would make you believe that Separationofpowers is a superstar. She clocked an 86 on her debut when scoring by eleven lengths and comfortably dispatched the Frizette field by three last time, matching that speed figure. On form and figures, you could make a case that she should be favourite and she looks a danger to all if on song.

Two additional things give pause. One is that the visual impression last time wasn’t as strong as the figure – she took a while to change leads, though she closed powerfully when she did. The other issue is simply with the lack of success east coast fillies have had in the Juvenile Fillies of late. None of the last five winners of the Frizette have won the Juvenile Fillies, despite its theoretical prominence as a prep (it should be noted though that 2011 winner Ria Antonia was an also ran and the 2011 Frizette victor, My Miss Aurelia, dominated the Juvenile Filles).

Lady Ivanka capitalised on Separationofpowers flop in the Spinaway and is now two-for-two.  She was ridden a bit more conservatively on that occasion and took advantage of the leaders weakening, but did well to hold off the late rally of deep closer Maya Malibu, who could re-oppose. She's done nothing wrong so far and looks straight-forward but her figures put her behind the best of these.

Of the outsiders, Wonder Gadot could outrun her odds.  She has a bit to prove, having yet to run on dirt, but scored by six lengths on synthetic last time and has placed form at Grade 1 level on turf. This looks a stiff task, but she has an engine. She has an each-way chance at north of 15-1.

Verdict: Moonshine Memories has the home-field edge and looks the most likely winner though Heavenly Love is one who looks bound to keep approving. The winner should come from these two.