By Ray Wallin
Whether you are a casual racing fan or you make your living playing the races, the Breeders’ Cup offers great excitement and value. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies race hasn’t produced many exhilarating finishes in recent years but does have a history of some great races and great finishes. This race holds the distinction of being the only Breeders’ Cup race to have had a horse win by disqualification. In fact, two horses have won this race by disqualification, Ria Antonia in 2013 and Outstandingly in the inaugural running in 1984.
#1 Flanders By a Nostril
In 1994, Serena’s Song almost pulled the upset over the 2-5 favorite Flanders. She would lead most of the way setting a hot pace as they would run 1-2. They would duel the entire stretch never seeming to be more than a head apart. Flanders would get a nose out in front right at the wire to get the win.
#2 My Flag Flies
In 1995, the Shug McGaughey trainee would sit next to last at the second call before she started to make her move. The stretch drive featured a great duel between the favorite Golden Attraction and Cara Rafaela which would be trumped by My Flag who would catch the pair in her final strides.
#3 Phone Chatter Is Dialed In
Sardula tried to take the 1993 field wire to wire. She almost had it. Phone Chatter would get a great stalking trip and start to make her move as they hit the turn. The two would duel throughout the stretch with Sardula holding a small lead until her final strides.
#4 Victory on the Big Stage
In 1991, most of the full field of 14 found themselves within eight lengths of the lead late. Cadillac Women would lead most of the way only to lose the lead in the stretch to La Spia, who was clear by a length and a half, However, Pleasant Stage would weave her way through the field and run La Spia down to get a head in front late.
#5 The Epitome of a Big Closing Late Run
In 1987, Jeanne Jones would set a hot pace and even pull away in the stretch. Running from next-to-last, Epitome had other plans. She would close a ton of ground and can finally be seen making her move up the rail before switching out wider to run down the tiring frontrunner at the wire.
#6 Storm Flag Flying Late
Maybe it was destiny in 2002. Maybe it was great breeding. Either way, Storm Flag Flying was owned by Ogden Phipps and trained by McGaughey and the daughter of the 1995 winner My Flag with the same connections. Storm Flag Flying had a narrow lead at the top of the stretch only to lose it to Composure to set up what would be a great duel down the stretch before she came back to win this one.
#7 Caressing Pays Big
In 2000, a 47-1 long shot provided a dramatic finish. Sitting in fifth for most of the race, Caressing would start inching her way toward the lead only to find herself on it past the mid-stretch marker. She would hold off Platinum Tiara to secure the half-length victory.
#8 She’s Not a Tiger
In 2013 She’s a Tiger ran a heck of a race until the final 100 yards when she bumped the 32-1 long shot Ria Antonia before the wire. Regardless of your opinion of the disqualification, those two fillies, along with the late running Rosalind, provided a dramatic finish.
#9 An Outstanding Late Run
In 1984, Outstandingly wasn’t even on the screen at the second call but would make a late charge to finish behind the stalking Fran’s Valentine who would be disqualified to 10th for a bump in the stretch. Regardless of the disqualification, Fran’s Valentine and Outstandingly provided some late excitement in the first running of the BC Juvenile Fillies.
#10 Wide Open Mind
1988 would give us a stretch drive where it looked like it could be anyone’s race with eight horses across the track. Open Mind would run with and beat Darby Shuffle to win going away.
Will the parade of early speed be broken this year at Santa Anita? Will we get to see a dramatic finish amongst the up and coming fillies? What do you think?
Below are links to previously published Top 10 Best Finishes in Breeders’ Cup races: