Wednesday, August 29, 2012

P.G. Johnson Stakes - A BC Preview

The P. G. Johnson Stakes, carded for two year old fillies running a mile over the turf, has been contested only five times since its inception in 2005. The NYRA cut the race in 2007-2008 due to economic concerns. The race proved to be a valuable stepping stone when Tapitsfly, the 2009 winner of the P. G. Johnson, was also victorious in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. 2010 P.G. Johnson runner-up Kathmanblu also placed in the Breeders’ Cup. We will likely see the top runners from this year’s P.G. Johnson head to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

This year, seven fillies are ready to battle it out over a firm turf course. Todd Pletcher brings three fillies into the P.G. Johnson Stakes.

TARA FROM THE CAPE (Leroidesanimaux (BRZ) - Royal Irish Lass, by Saint Ballado) was victorious in the Thomas (Tuck) Greene Memorial Stakes going 7 ½ furlongs over the Delaware lawn in her last start. She is the only stakes winner in the race. She has quality in her distaff line as her second dam Irish Linnet won the 1 1/8 mile Yaddo Stakes five years straight, the Noble Damsel (G-3) twice and was in the money 45 from 62 starts, mainly stakes races.

TOP TIER LASS (Street Boss - Top Tier, by King of Kings) is a daughter of first crop sire Street Boss. She sparkled in her debut, galloping to a seven length win over a good turf course in her debut. Her dam is a half sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf runner-up Stopshoppingmaria.

Pletcher’s third entrant is SKYFALL (More Than Ready - Yard Art, by Lasting Approval). She made her debut over the slop at Saratoga and made an impressive four-wide move on the turn, getting up to win by ¾ a length over the second place horse. Skyfall’s unraced dam is a half sister to G-3 winner Ascutney, dam of Raven’s Pass, hero of the Breeders’ Cup Clasic and the Queen Elizabeth II (Eng-1). Another half sister bore Del Mar Oaks (G-1) winner No Matter What, who in turn produced multiple G-1 heroine Rainbow View, G-1 winner Just As Well and G-3 winner Winter View.

Breaking from the far outside is GO KITTEN GO (Kitten's Joy - Go Cherokee Go, by Cherokee Run). After winning her debut, the daughter of Kitten’s Joy started in the Coleen Stakes at Monmouth, where she took part in a blanket finish, separated by second and third place by a head and neck. There is little blacktype in Go Kitten Go’s immediate distaff family, but she shares the same line as Test Stakes (G-1) heroine Victory ride and the second dam is a full sister to Hollywood Derby (G-1) winner River Flyer.

Top turf trainer Christophe Clement sends out DA MI BASIA MILLE (Pure Prize - Miss Cozze, by Not For Love). She won her debut at the 1 1/16 mile distance over the Saratoga turf. Da Mi Basia Mille hails from a modest distaff family. Her dam is a full sister to a stakes winner. Otherwise, there is no other blacktype in the first two generations. The NY Champion colt Raffie’s Majesty is a part of this distaff line.

Hall of Fame trainer Wayne Lukas has entered BROKEN SPELL (Broken Vow - Rich Find, by Exploit). She needed four starts to win her maiden, but won her last start by 1 ¼ lengths over this course at 1 1/6 miles. Broken Spell has a distaff line sprinkled with stakes winners. Her dam is a stakes winning turf miler and a half sister to the dam of the heroic Eight Belles. Other stakes runners in this family include the stallion Belong To Me, the gallant stakes veteran Skipaslew and Breeders’ Cup Turf Champ Dangerous Midge. The fourth dam Straight Deal is a Champion Handicap Mare and blue hen.

The wildcard of the field is WATSDACHANCES (Diamond Green (FR) - High Finance (IRE), by Entrepreneur (GB)) The Irish-bred filly blew away a maiden field in Ireland by six lengths in a turf sprint. She enters the P.G. Johnson for the formidable Chad Brown. Watsdachances has little blacktype in her European distaff family.


Track bias: 13 races were contested over the inner turf last week. 46% were won by late-pace types, while early speed won 38%. 23% of the runners wired the field. The turf should be firm, no rain is forecast.




BROKEN SPELL - longshot pick



steve said...

great job breaking down this race.