Jessamine Closes Out Breeders’ Cup Challenge

Keeneland Jessamine

A full field of 14 go on Wednesday in the Jessamine (G2), the final Breeders’ Cup Challenge race. at Keeneland. (Photo credit: Keeneland).

The 2018 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series of races comes to an end on Wednesday with a field of 14 heading to the gate in the $200,000 J.P. Morgan Chase Jessamine (G2) at Keeneland.

The race serves as a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). Last year’s winner Rushing Fall went on to win the Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar for trainer Chad Brown.

Brown will be represented this year by Fierce Scarlett (7-2), an impressive maiden winner at Belmont Park over yielding footing on Sept. 15 in her second career start.

His former assistant Jorge Abreu sends out a pair including my top pick Moravia (4-1) and Expresso Shot (15-1).

Moravia makes her U.S. debut, checking in second in a Group 2 in her last start behind a really nice filly in Skitter Scatter, who won the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) at the Curragh on Sept. 16 in her last start.

The Jessamine is the last of 10 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races that were run at Keeneland over the first four days of the fall meeting.

The current early betting favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf is the Brown trained Newspaperofrecord, winner of the Miss Grillo (G2) in her last outing on Sept. 30 at Belmont Park. Her current odds in early wagering for the Juvenile Fillies Turf at US Racing is +275.

Just Wonderful is the second choice at USRacing for the Juvenile Fillies Turf at +350. The filly won the Rockfell Stakes (G2) at Newmarket in her last start.

Let’s head out to Keeneland for Wednesday’s featured race of the day:


Keeneland Race 7 The J.P. Morgan Jessamine (G2) Post time 4:24 ET

9 Moravia   4-1

13 My Gal Betty   4-1

10 Fierce Scarlett   7-2

4 Concrete Rose   6-1

Moravia is one of two in here sent out by the Jorge Abreu barn. The filly makes her U.S. debut here after checking in third in the JC of Turkey Silver Flash Stakes (G3) at Leopardstown. The filly stalked the early pace in the seven-furlong test over good ground and was just 1 ½ lengths back of the very talented Skitter Scatter, who came back to win the Debutante Stakes (G2) and then win the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) at the Curragh on Sept. 16. This gal is bred to handle the extra ground. She is out of the stakes winner Demeanour who has dropped two other turf winners. She is in fine hands with the former Chad Brown assistant Abreu and has been in the U.S. since July, purchased by her current connections shortly before her last start.

My Gal Betty was the beaten favorite in the Natalma (G1) last out at Woodbine where she rallied for the runner up spot, beaten a length for the top spot. She crossed the wire in front in each of her first three starts, getting DQ’d three back for bumping a foe in the stretch In the My Dear on Tapeta.  The Roger Attfield trainee has shown improvement with each outing and she fits well here although she did draw a bum post. She has a solid pedigree, by Point of Entry out of a Mining mare that has dropped eight other winners, five turf winners and two other stakes winners, top earner America America ($403,050).

Fierce Scarlett was a good looking maiden winner in her second career start and first going long for the Brown barn, drawing off to win by 4 ½ lengths over yielding ground at Belmont Park. The $320,000 Ocala purchase is out of a West by West mare that has dropped three other turf winners. She looks as if she still has plenty of upside and won her last as if she still could have another big move forward in her. Brown won this race last year with Rushing Fall, who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) in her next start. She fits although with Brown calling the shots she may end up getting too much attention in the betting.


WIN: Moravia to win at 7-2 or better.

EXACTA: 9,13 / 4,9,10,13

TRIFECTA: 9,13 / 4,9,10,13 / 4,9,10,12,13

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