A field of eight two-year-old fillies will line up in Sunday’s $200,000 Miss Grillo (G2) at Belmont Park, a key race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.
While no longer a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race, the Miss Grillo is a key race, producing five winners of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf including Nespaperofrecord last year for trainer Chad Brown.
Brown has won the Miss Grillo in each of the last three years and seven times in the last 11 editions. The trainer sends out two fillies that broke their maidens in thier debut efforts, Selflessly (6-1) and Jazzique. They both earned their diplomas going 5 ½ furlongs on turf at Saratoga.
The 8-5 morning line favorite is Crystalle, who was disqualified from her maiden score in her debut at odds of 41-1 and came back to win the P.G. Johnson as the favorite in her last outing. She is trained by John Kimmel who will give jockey Joel Rosario a leg up.
The Todd Pletcher trained Sparkling Sky is the second choice on the morning line at 7-2. She broke her maiden going 1 1/16 miles in her second career start.
“She ran a good solid race in her debut and won second time out. It was nice to see her come back and improve off her first start,” Pletcher said. “She’s been training well since that start and we’re hoping she can take another leap forward in this field and work out a good trip.”
There is one Breeders’ Cup Challenge race on tap in the U.S. on Sunday. A field of six will go in the $300,000 Zenyatta (G2) at Santa Anita. The winner earns a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).
The top four from the Clement L. Hirsch (G1) face off again. The race was won by Ollie’s Candy by a head over Secret Spice.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 8 The Miss Grillo (G2) Post time 4:43 ET
6 Sparkling Sky 7-2
4 Crystalle 8-5
2 Jazzique 8-1
8 Selflessly 6-1
The Pletcher trainee was a good looking maiden winner going long at Saratoga last out in her second career start. She tracked the early pace, took over the led heading home and finished up well to win by 2 1/2 lengths. In her debut she was bumped coming out of the gate, came with a five-wide bid, was bumped by a foe at the 3/16’s then got brushed and had to steady when our second choice in here came in on her. She was placed second thanks to a DQ of the winner. The $650,000 purchase is bred for turf, by More Than Ready out of a Pulpit mare that has dropped two other winners including turf sprint stakes winner Justa Lady ($353,745). She looks capable of moving forward off her maiden score.
The filly was DQ’d from her debut where she was sent off at 41-1. She returned in the P.G. Johnson where she was sent off as the favorite and got up late to win by a neck in a game effort. In that outing she as off poorly when she had her head turned and leapt up at the break, leaving her last early spotting the field a few lengths. A cleaner break and she will be tough in here as the favorite. She should get an honest pace in front of her. She is out of a Flatter mare that has dropped two other foals to race, both turf winners.
This gal is one of two in here sent out by the Brown barn that has won this race in six of the last seven years including the last three. She stalked the early pace and finished gamely while bumping with her stablemate late to prevail by a half-length. She should get better going long, by Kingman out of a stakes placed Sadler’s Wells mare that has dropped two other turf winners. The Brown barn is 35% winners moving runners from sprint to route. Her speed figure in her maiden win is coming up light but tough to toss Brown from this race entirely.
WIN: Sparkling Sky to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 2,4,6,8
TRI: 4,6 / 2,4,6,8 / 2,4,5,6,8