Although the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will not be run at Churchill Downs this year as they have been the last two years, Churchill Downs may be in the future for some of the two-year-old fillies that will race in the Championships Friday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. A field of eight fillies will contest the 1 1/16 mile $2,000,000 Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) over the dirt.
Trainer Bob Baffert and owner Mike Pegram will saddle 2-1 morning line favorite Executiveprivilege. The daughter of First Samurai is undefeated in five lifetime starts, including three graded stakes. In her last start, jockey Rafael Bejarano, a Santa Anita regular, guided Executiveprivilege to victory in the 1 1/16 mile Chandelier Stakes (G1) that was run Sept. 29 at Santa Anita. With an average Brisnet speed figure in the 90s, she’s definitely the one to beat, but this is the Breeders’ Cup and favorites don’t always win.
A pair of runners installed as co-second choice at 5-2 is poised to give Executiveprivilege a run for her money—Beholder and Dreaming of Julia.
Beholder exits a win in an allowance race run over the Santa Anita surface Oct. 4 in which she beat her nearest foe by 11 lengths and earned an impressive 110 Brisnet speed figure for the effort. In one of two starts against Executiveprivilege, the Richard Mandella trainee came up a nose short in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) (Sept. 1) after hitting the gate at the start. Beholder has never raced at a route distance and moves up in class from her last start. Garrett Gomez will be in the irons for the filly’s fifth start. Although she’ll need to be on her game to win Friday, Beholder appears to have the heart to do it.