The $1 million Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies Turf is one of three new races introduced in 2008. A field of 12 two-year-old fillies contested this 1 mile trip over the Santa Anita turf course. Jessamine Stakes winner Laragh was sent off as the 5-2 favorite over 7-2 second choice Consequence, winner of her debut but a close fourth in the Miss Grillo last time out at Belmont Park. 6-1 Saucey Evening, winner of the California Cup Juvenile Fillies, is the main local hope and third choice on the board.
Maram (center, green cap) starts to run down pacesetter Laragh while Heart Shaped rallies on the far outside.
Laragh sped to the early lead under jockey Edgar Prado and she set quick fractions of 22.53, 45.82, 1:10.10, and 1:22.60 over the firm course, while as many as 2 1/2 lengths clear of 25-1 Renda who stalked her most of the way. Laragh stubbornly held a 2 length lead to the 1/8 pole, but 11-1 Maram, 7th early, and 10-1 Heart Shaped, 10th early, closed strongly down the center of the course. Maram nosed out Heart Shaped for the win in 1:35.15, a length in front of pacesetter and favorite Laragh third.
Winning owner Karen Woods said, "It's exactly what her name means. It's a wish, it's a dream. In Arabic, Maram means destiny, wish, or dream. Mr. Khaled, who is my 50% partner, said it was a mating the same as Carson City. So those who don't study pedigrees well, that was one theory you could have considered, as well. He said not to breed to her because she was not commercial enough. But I wasn't breeding for commercial, I was breeding for brood mare blood stock, and I was lucky I got a filly. The rest is Chad's. He's the boss. Maybe we'll consider Dubai?"
Maram (inside) wins the Juvenile Fillies Turf over Heart Shaped
Right: Maram and Jose Lezcano in the winner's circle. Lezcano said, "Well, my filly felt so good, and put in the position I want to be, like five, six lengths behind the speed. And I asked, can you go out a little bit, and looking for my spot, and then she gave me a big kick. I'm in this country five years. I'm 23 years old. I'm from Panama, so it's very hard to come to this country and to have to speak English and working to the people. I'm very happy to get the chance to ride the horse."
Left: The trophy presentation with trainer Chad Brown, a former assistant to Bobby Frankel, on the left. Brown said, "Well, there's been a lot of highs and lows. Losing my grandfather was tough. And he was laid to rest today, right where he lived, in upstate New York, not too far from Saratoga racetrack. I did get to see him about six days ago before he passed. So it was real emotional. But we were very confident coming in here. That's why we came. She's a good filly. I don't think she gets a lot of respect because I ran her for a tag the first time, but that's only because I can. And we're trying to win every time we run horses. But she's a good filly, trust me.
Right: Maram gets hosed down before heading to the barn.
Left: Second place finisher Heart Shaped in the post parade. Her jockey John Murtagh said, "I had a good trip. I followed the winner all the way around. When she (Maram) made her run, so did I. But it took my filly a few strides to find her best. When she did, she was really rolling. One more bounce and we were there." Her trainer Aidan O'Brien added, "She ran a great race, absolutely. We always thought she was a nice filly. I thought Johnny gave her a brilliant ride. She was closing all the time and she's a filly who has only been running 5 and 6 furlongs. She's a filly to look forward to next year now with this race."
Right: Third place finisher Laragh leads first time by. Her jockey Edgar Prado said, "I wished I could have gotten her to go a little slower for the first half, but she was keen today. She was on the bit all the way. I wished I could have nursed her along a little better, but she was too good to go." Her trainer John Terranova added, "Up the backstretch, she had a little trouble settling and relaxing. She was coming back in just 15 days and had been a little sharp. She's kind of tough to handle when she doesn't relax. But she's a nice filly, and she'll learn. We'll probably freshen her a little for next season. She's a nice big-framed filly, and we'll let her fill out and come back as a 3-year-old."
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Wednesday Breeders' Cup Workout Photos - Photos and comments for 34 of the Breeders' Cup horses out in the fog on Wednesday morning at Santa Anita. The sun didn't make it out until 8:30am and visibility was quite poor at times.
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The Breeders' Cup Championship Day - The official page for the Breeders' Cup championship races. Just about anything you need to know about it: results, video clips, and race calls for past years, and eventually nominations, entries, and results.
Free Prep Replays - for major prep races in the Breeders' Cup Challenge. The ones with camera logos have video available.