LEXINGTON, KY – Trainer Chad Brown will saddle the Don Alberto homebred Ingrassia as he aims for his third title in Wednesday’s $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
The winner of the Jessamine will receive an automatic position in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) this fall at Keeneland. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of Kentucky will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
The Jessamine is a 1 1/16-mile turf route restricted to 2-year-old fillies, with the 2020 edition attracting 11.
Let’s look at the full field:
#1 Batyah – She rallied from well off the pace to win her debut going away by 2 1/4 lengths in a 1-mile Belmont Park turf event. Trainer Graham Motion, whose lone victory in this race came in 2014, won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with Sharing, so a win here would give him a stout candidate with which to defend his World Championship title.
#2 Momentous Miss – She broke her maiden on debut at Kentucky Downs, winning a 6 1/2-furlong dash over the good turf by 1 1/2 lengths while making a three-wide rallying move. Jockey James Graham remains aboard for trainer Byron Hughes; they’ve won 2 of their 3 shared mounts together since 2019.
#3 Taylor’s Tourist – She quickly turned her debut into a laugher, romping by 9 3/4 lengths in a 5 1/2-furlong dirt dash at Evangeline Downs, then finished second in the Untapable Stakes at Kentucky Downs next time out while making her first turf start. Her sire, Midshipman, won the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and finished third in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
#4 Beautiful Star – She broke her maiden at second asking while going 1 mile over the Ellis Park turf, then finished fifth in the Mint Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Kentucky Downs after struggling at the start. She then transferred to the care of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who has a 19% win rate with newcomers to his barn.
#5 Ingrassia – She fought hard to nose out victory in her debut, a 1 1/16-mile route over a Saratoga turf course rated good in mid-August. Brown has won this race twice in the past, including in 2017 with the eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf champion Rushing Fall, and Javier Castellano, Rushing Fall’s regular pilot, rides Ingrassia for the first time here.
#6 Arm Candy – Despite lugging in and out in the long stretch run, she broke her maiden by 2 lengths while debuting at Kentucky Downs in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint. Though Asmussen and his first-call jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. have won 19% of their 1,134 mounts together since the beginning of 2019, that figure dips to 9% on turf.
#7 Aunt Pearl – She was a dominating gate-to-wire victor on debut, taking a 1-mile event by 5 lengths over a Churchill Downs turf course rated good. Red-hot connections trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux have a remarkable 25% success rate together through their past 421 starts and should never be taken lightly.
#8 Navratilova – She stretches out to attempt routing for the first time after winning her debut, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint at Ellis Park that saw the runner-up win next time out. Despite the short distance of her only prior start, she’s bred to handle two turns and jockey Julien Leparoux staying aboard is a vote of confidence.
#9 Gambling Cat – She came running late to win her debut in a one-turn Belmont Park turf mile by a neck, an advantage that could’ve been greater had she not lugged in twice in the stretch. Debut runners can be forgiven for running greenly, so with any expected improvement, the daughter of top American turf sire Kitten’s Joy should stand a fighting chance.
#10 Spanish Loveaffair – She ships to Kentucky after winning both career starts, including the Sharp Susan Stakes, while going 1 mile over the Gulfstream Park lawn. Trainer Mark Casse and jockey Tyler Gaffalione join forces while looking to improve upon their 15% strike rate in their past 183 starts together, dating back to the start of 2019.
#11 Lazy Summer Day – She appears here after breaking her maiden at second asking, a 1 1/16-mile route over an Ellis Park lawn rated good. Trainer Kenny McPeek already found success with juvenile fillies at the current meet when he saddled Simply Ravishing to win Friday’s Alcibiades Stakes (G1), a “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile Fillies.
The Jessamine serves as the penultimate event and the lone stakes on Keeneland’s 8-race Wednesday card. The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events conclude with 4 events on Saturday and 1 on Sunday at Belmont Park.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is presented by America’s Best Racing.
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to racingdudes.com.