Young Fillies Vying for Breeders’ Cup Spot in Natalma Stakes
Young Fillies Vying for Breeders’ Cup Spot in Natalma Stakes: Natalma may not have been the most successful racehorse, but she was owned by the iconic E. P. Taylor. A daughter of Native Dancer, the mare carried a high chance of being successful. At age two, the filly was victorious in the 1959 Spinaway Stakes but fell victim to disqualification and was placed third. At age three, as she was training for the Kentucky Oaks, she suffered a bone chip in the knee and was retired to become a broodmare.
As a broodmare, the mare produced one of the most successful racehorses and stallions in the history of horse racing: Northern Dancer. The colt was born on May 27, 1961, and went on to win the Kentucky Derby and become one of the most influential sires of modern times. Natalma produced other stakes winners but none as successful as her Nearctic colt. Natalma can be found in the bloodline of most racehorses today and also in some bloodlines through her descendent Danehill.
The Natalma Stakes is run at Woodbine on an annual basis for two-year-old fillies and goes one mile over the turf course. While the Natalma has yet to produce any real top quality horses, Dance Smartly did win the race in 1990 before going on to highly successful careers as both a racehorse and a broodmare. The Grade II race is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and is set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015.
Caren (Society’s Chairman – Jozak, by Vilzak) Already known on the Woodbine stakes scene, Caren is 3-for-3 in her career. She was a cheap yearling, costing only $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall 2014 Yearling Sale. This filly will attempt to take her front-running style and stretch herself out to one mile after solely competing in sprints. Look for her to break on top and play “catch me if you can.”
Know Clouds (Henrythenavigator – Dynamic Cat, by Dynaformer) With a lovely pedigree for turf at the mile distance, this filly comes into the Natalma with only her maiden victory, which she achieved at first asking at Presque Isle Downs. While not many babies of Henrythenavigator make it to the United States, this filly was foaled here and is raced by her breeders. She will likely make a late run coming into the Woodbine stretch. She is trained by Graham Motion.
Most Inspiring (Gio Ponti -Chemise, by Secret Halo) This filly was purchased last year as a yearling for $57,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Fall 2014 Yearling Sale. Trained by Daniel Vella, this filly comes into the Natalma off a maiden score in her first try. She stalked the early pace before inching away under a hand ride in the six-furlong contest. Look for her to make a very similar run here.
Gamble’s Ghost (Ghostzapper – Gambling Girl, by Secret Claim) After scoring in her maiden voyage, the filly looks to continue her winning streak here. This homebred has a pedigree that may be limited to the mile distance, but she may be able to go a bit longer. She has been working well over the Woodbine turf, turning in a very good breeze on September 6. This one likes to sit back and relax before making her final bid.
Chinchilla Dust (Freud – Notcharlie’sangel, by Fappie’s Notebook) Bred and owned by Charles Engle, Chinchilla Dust broke her maiden in her second start at Saratoga, traveling 5-1/2 furlongs over the turf to win by a nose at odds of 21-1. The filly likes to be up front, pressing the early pace. Expect for her to go with Caren at the beginning of the race. The filly is trained by Michael Wilson, who has yet to win a graded stakes race. The filly has been working nicely at Saratoga and will ship in to continue towards a graded stakes win for herself and her trainer.
Silky Girl (Scat Daddy – Beau Girl, by Military) Scat Daddy offspring are bred to run on all surfaces, don’t seem too distance-challenged, and are becoming winners left and right. The stallion has multiple turf and dirt offspring who seem to enjoy going route distances. This filly is hoping to continue off her maiden score at Saratoga for trainer Rick Violette and bring home her first graded stakes win. The filly was sold at auction for $105,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. However, she races for Rosedown racing, who also bred the filly. She was likely bought back shortly after being sold. The filly is actually cutting back in distance after breaking her maiden going 8-1/2 furlongs on the Saratoga turf course. This filly is fast from the gate and also likes to play “catch me if you can.” She could possibly hook up with Caren from the start.
Pulled the Goalie (Parading – Bag of Stars, by Devil’s Bag) While Parading was known as a turf specialist, he has yet to produce any noteworthy offspring on the surface. This filly is coming into the Natalma off a maiden win first out and then a second-place finish in an allowance race. She finished second to fellow entry Catch a Glimpse going seven furlongs over the turf course at Woodbine. This filly should be able to stretch out to one mile without much hassle. She is more of a midpack runner or a stalker, so look for her to make a move in the later stages of the race.
Paddy Point (Paddy O’Prado – Fancy Point, by Point Given) This filly is the only maiden in the field. She finished third in her first, and only, start. Equibase notes that “Paddy Point stalked the pace, closed four-wide late turn and chased gamely to the end.” The race was originally scheduled for the turf but was moved onto the All-Weather track at Woodbine. This filly has a pedigree that suggests route races over turf should merit her best performances. She stretched out here over a surface she should enjoy more. Her workouts for trainer Ashlee Brnjas have been good and should be an indicator that her second start may be better than her first. The question is, is she better than the undefeated stakes winner in post position one?
Catch a Glimpse (City Zip – Halo River, by Irish River (FR)) This filly trained by Mark Casse broke her maiden in her last start, an allowance race at Woodbine run at seven furlongs over the turf. She defeated fellow entrant Pulled a Goalie in this race and played “catch me if you can” with the field. She was able to win the allowance by 1¾ lengths over Pulled the Goalie, and it was 3 lengths back to Miss Metropolitan. City Zip has been able to get some turf runners, most notably Dayatthespa, and with the right distaff line, he could sire more. This filly looks to be one who could be successful on the turf.
Miss Metropolitan (Leroidesanimaux (BRZ) – Such a Sweet Girl, by Proud and True) This filly won her debut impressively over the turf at Woodbine, but after a quick turnaround, she wasn’t able to get it done in the Shady Well Stakes. With some rest, the filly finished third in an allowance and looks to keep improving here. Pedigree suggests middle distance turf races will be her speciality. But, does she have the class? Previous form says she does.
She’ll Do It (Badge of Silver – Marquise Miss, Marquetry) Brenton Jones looks to have another graded stakes winner this year. Trained by Reade Baker, this filly is in good hands. He has trained multiple graded stakes winners, including Bear Now, City Wolf, and Sharp Sensation. He also finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Fatal Bullet. She’ll Do It likes to run on the lead, adding to the amount of speed that is in this race. Can she overcome that to win her first graded stakes victory?
All these fillies are not only vying for their first graded stakes victory but also a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, which is to be run at Keeneland on October 30, the first day of the two-day event. This field looks to be loaded with speed, but can these fillies hold their speed going the middle distance of one mile? My selections will be Gamble’s Ghost, Paddy’s Point, Miss Metropolitan, and Caren. With the amount of speed, I expect the closers to be able to make up ground through the stretch.
Natalma Stakes 2015 Post Positions & Odds
Race 7 4:02 PM ET
1 Caren 9-2 Campbell/Paulo
2 Know Clouds 20-1 Pino/Motion
3 Most Inspiring 10-1 Garcia/Vella
4 Gamble’s Ghost 3-1 Contreras/Carroll
5 Chinchilla Dust 20-1 Husbands/Wilson
6 Silky Girl 8-1 Saez/Violette, Jr.
7 Pulled the Goalie 6-1 Moran/Vella
8 Paddy Point 20-1 Bridgmohan/Brnjas
9 Catch a Glimpse 8-1 Geroux/Casse
10 Miss Metropolitan 20-1 Da Silva/Biamonte
11 She’ll Do It 4-1 McAleney/Baker