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2023 Frizette Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Just F Y I, Emery Meet In Juvenile Fillies Prep
Emery (NYRA)

2023 Frizette Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Just F Y I, Emery Meet In Juvenile Fillies Prep

Aaron previews the 2023 Frizette Stakes (G1) from Belmont at the Big A, then gives his top picks & long shots from this “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Impressive Saratoga debut winners Just F Y I & Emery meet in this major prep race for the World Championships, but who comes out on top? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The press release:

George Krikorian’s second generation Kentucky homebred Just F Y I will look to back up a strong debut victory with another big effort in Saturday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette, a one-turn mile test for juvenile fillies, at Belmont at the Big A.

In addition to providing a berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, the Frizette is the first New York prep race on the road to the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs and offers the top-five finishers 10-5-3-2-1 qualifying points, respectively, towards the prestigious nine-furlong test slated for May 3.

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Just F Y I, a bay daughter of 2018 Triple Crown Champion Justify, made an eye-catching debut when sprinting six furlongs on August 26 at Saratoga Race Course for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. There, she rallied from 2 1/2 lengths off the pace under Junior Alvarado to collar Shop Lifting in the shadow of the wire and post the head victory in a final time of 1:11.06. The effort was awarded a 70 Beyer Speed Figure.

Mott said the effort confirmed the early impressions Just F Y I gave him and Krikorian.

“We thought she was a nice filly,” said Mott. “Her breezes have been very good and useful. It’s not much experience for any horse to only have one race and jump into a Grade 1. I think it’s a lot to ask, but you don’t have many options.”

Just F Y I is out of the stakes-placed Street Cry mare Star Act, a half-sister to Celebrity Cat, the dam of 2018 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Uncle Benny. Her second dam is multiple Grade 1-winner Starrer, who is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1-winner Stellar Jayne.

Alvarado maintains the mount from post 5.

Stonestreet Stables’ Emery [post 6, Manny Franco] was rerouted from this weekend’s Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland in favor of this spot for two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox.

The More Than Ready dark bay was an impressive winner on debut in an August 30 maiden tilt at Saratoga, pouncing from just off the pace in the six-furlong sprint to take a half-length advantage at the stretch call and draw off to an easy 5 3/4-length victory over the muddy and sealed footing. The effort produced a 75 Beyer.

A $235,000 weanling purchase at the 2021 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, Emery is out of the multiple stakes-winning Street Sense mare Athena.

Valter Ramos’ Princess Indy enters as the lone stakes-winner in the field after taking Monmouth Park’s Sorority last out on August 20 for trainer Claudio Gonzalez. The Lord Nelson bay won her July 15 debut over the same oval ahead of a trip to Saratoga where she finished a distant fifth in the Grade 3 Adirondack before rebounding with a 1 1/2-length score in the one-mile Sorority.

Out of the unraced Warrior’s Reward mare Bonita Mia, who is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winner Carina Mia and Grade 1-winner Miss Match, Princess Indy is a full-sister to dual graded stakes-placed Super Chow.

Jaime Torres has the call from post 3.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher sends out Repole Stable’s Life Talk [post 2, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] off a second-out graduation traveling the Frizette distance on August 31 at the Spa. The Gun Runner bay finished second in her July 30 debut when landing a head behind Grade 1 Alcibiades contender Alys Beach in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint, and excelled in her next outing when stretched out to win by 6 1/2 lengths in an effort that was awarded a 74 Beyer, improving from a 59 Beyer for her debut.

“She stepped up second time and improved a lot stretching out. We’ll give it a try,” said Pletcher. “She’s one that touted herself early on. I think ultimately, the further the better.”

A $335,000 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Life Talk is out of the winning Bernardini mare Touchy Feely, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Indian Firewater.

Godolphin’s Kentucky homebred Central Avenue [post 4, Javier Castellano] enters from a debut victory on August 31 at Colonial Downs for trainer Michael Stidham. The daughter of Street Sense closed from last-of-9 to take the seven-furlong sprint by a half-length over next-out winner Perfectly Wicked.

Central Avenue is out of the multiple graded stakes-placed A.P. Indy mare Centring, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Penwith and Grade 1-placed Tranquil Manner, as well as Collective, the dam of dual graded stakes-winner Shared Sense. Additionally, Central Avenue’s second dam is two-time Grade 1-winner Composure.

Completing the field is Irish Three Racing’s Irish Maxima [post 1, Jairo Rendon], who defeated winners when taking a six-furlong first-level optional claimer on September 16 at Pimlico Race Course for conditioner John Servis. The daughter of Maximus Mischief earned a field-best 77 Beyer for the 6 3/4-length victory, which came on the heels of a 2 3/4-length debut graduation on August 22 at Parx Racing. Both of the bay’s victories have come in wire-to-wire fashion.

Irish Maxima was purchased for $50,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale and is out of the graded stakes-placed Out of Place mare Palace Pier, who has produced three six-figure earners. 

The Frizette, carded as Race 5, provides the winner a “Win and You’re In” berth into the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 3 at Santa Anita Park, and is one of six graded events on Saturday’s lucrative 11-race program.

The card also features the rescheduled Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic; the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne – a “Win and You’re In” for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile; the Grade 3, $200,000 Belmont Turf Sprint; the Grade 3, $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Waya; and the Grade 3, $500,000 Jockey Club Derby Invitational. First post is 12:05 p.m. Eastern.