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2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies: Final major prep comes in Alcibiades

Marty McGee – Oct 06, 2021

Friday will bring the last prep for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and wouldn’t it be something if the winner of the Alcibiades at Keeneland had a reply for Echo Zulu and Ain’t Easy?

Echo Zulu was sensational in remaining unbeaten Sunday in the Grade 1 Frizette, winning off as she pleased in a performance to make her the 7-5 favorite for the Nov. 5 BC Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar in the latest Daily Racing Form rankings.

“She’s special,” trainer Steve Asmussen said after Echo Zulu led throughout in a 7 1/4-length domination of the one-mile Frizette. The victory kept the Gun Runner filly unbeaten in three races, following two Saratoga starts, including the Grade 1 Spinaway.

Ain’t Easy was similarly impressive Friday in winning the Grade 2 Chandelier at Santa Anita by 4 3/4 lengths. Always in contention in the 1 1/16-mile race, the Into Mischief filly blasted off in the final three furlongs to stay unbeaten in two starts following a sharp August debut at Del Mar. Making the triumph all the more noteworthy was the fact she returned to the winner’s circle without her left front shoe securely affixed.

Ain’t Easy, trained by Phil D’Amato, is based at Santa Anita, where Echo Zulu was scheduled to arrive early this week from New York. Both fillies will train at Santa Anita before moving down to Del Mar.

Meanwhile, the Grade 1 Alcibiades shapes up as possibly the deepest of the Win and You’re In preps, even if it lacks a standout on the level of Echo Zulu or Ain’t Easy. A field of 12 is entered in the 1 1/16-mile race, with inexperienced but talented fillies such as Penny Saver, Matareya, Juju’s Map, Runup, Mama Rina, and Distinctlypossible among those primed to make a major leap into contention.

Meanwhile, from New York, trainer Todd Pletcher said he is still deciding whether to send Classy Edition to the Breeders’ Cup or run her instead against New York-breds in the Oct. 30 Maid of the Mist at Belmont Park. The Classic Empire filly has won her two starts by a combined 14 3/4 lengths.

Two fillies ranked in the DRF top 10 last week are no longer on the list for the Juvenile Fillies. Averly Jane is being aimed instead at the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint by trainer Wesley Ward, and Tarabi, runner-up to Echo Zulu in the Spinaway, is behind schedule and was not entered in the Alcibiades as had been planned.

Yuugiri also is missing the Alcibiades to wait instead for the Rags to Riches on Oct. 31 at Churchill Downs, trainer Rudy Brisset said.

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