The Miss Grillo (Grade 2) (BC)- $200.000 Purse
AQU- For Fillies Two Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Inner Turf
October 1, 2023
The action for two-year-olds at AQU continues on Sunday with the running of the Grade 2 Miss Grillo, which will automatically send its winner into the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. That will mean that the starting gate is full for the 20th running of the race. Like the Pilgrim, it took a little while for the status of the race to grow, and it would officially earn its Grade 2 designation in 2018. It’s been run at BEL previously, but was moved to the Big A, along with other fall stakes, last year. That race was won by a filly named Greek, for Mb Stables, and despite a respectable fourth place run in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf, she would not run in a stake again until last month and her results in optional claimers only justified keeping her away. Our field of twelve will be hoping for better than that as their careers move on. Let’s take a look at them!
#1- Chase The Shadow (Allinthegate, ridden by F Geroux)- This filly will make her turf debut, after winning one of her first three starts on the main track. After a struggle here on debut, she rebounded in an excellent manner with the addition of Lasix at PRX, and then narrowly missed out on going back-to-back in an allowance at SAR. So far, she has taken a liking to coming from behind, and if this was on the dirt, I’d like her a lot. Turf works show promise, too, but the surface adjustment is the key for her.
#2- Once Freed (Riggins Racing, ridden by P Husbands)- Picked up by the trainer with a $40.000 claim on the fourth of July at BEL, a race that she did win. With Riggins Racing, she has made two starts, but neither of them really stands out to me. The better of the two was the $150.000 Johnson at SAR where she came from behind to be third, but I’d like that more if she was not still beaten by two lengths. Just a little improvement off that, which with two-year-olds can and will happen, puts her in the mix here.
#3- Tea Time (Mb Stables, ridden by P Lopez)- In her first three races, Tea Time looked like she needed her caffeine, though perhaps the yielding turf played a role in her August race. Last month, she got her kick and went wire to wire to break her maiden at a mile against NY-Breds. It was the first time that she went out on the lead early, and conventional thought would think that Mb Stables will try that type of tactic again here. But conventional thought doesn’t make you a dominant trainer like Mb.
#4- Between Memories (Alydar Stables, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- Struggled on debut, but clearly just needed to get that race out of her system. When she was next seen, Between Memories had no issue with the mud at PIM, running second in June before heading north to the Spa two months later. That was also her turf debut, and she put together a strong, frontrunning race en route to the victory. SRF seems a little low for that effort, though.
#5- Heavenly Body (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by L Saez)- Follows a similar script that you will see in either this race or the Pilgrim on the male side. After two races on the main track that were hit and miss, Heavenly Body was moved to the grass and had her breakout. For her, it came at MTH, but is the SRF seemed low for Between Memories right next to her, that 83 is even more unappealing. Not sure if her mile turf works are up to par with some of these but it’s too early in her career to put much stock into that.
#6- Pride Cometh (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by D Moran)- Won on debut, and since then it’s been all stake racing for this filly. That would be more appealing to me if she was more competitive in those races, but at the same time the less impressive runs came on the main track. When moved to the turf last month, the trainer went big by entering her in the $500.000 KD Juvenile Fillies, and in that she picked up the fourth-place check. That is definitely appealing, and it more of the same should make her one of the top choices, if not the one to beat. But can we count on “more of the same?”
#7- Siyouni (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by A Jimenez)- The latest addition to my list of horse names that I will not enjoy spelling over and over again if I keep seeing her. She’s made just two starts thus far and is showing the potential to suggest to me that I will need to learn to spell this one without double checking pretty quickly. Like others, she struggled on debut, but after three months, rebounded nicely with a turf sprint win at DMR. Based on her work times, this filly will not have a problem stretching out, and is poised to be a contender here.
#8- National Dreamer (First Flight Stable, ridden by T Gaffalione)- Picked up by the trainer a few weeks ago in the September auction for $44.000, and this will be their first race together. She made three starts for La Canada Racehorses previously, winning one of them. Off of that win, she was sent to the ELP Debutante where she ran in the middle of the field. Looks like there will be slight change to her medications with the addition of Bute, so if that makes her just a tad better, that may be all it takes for her to step up here.
#9- Schrodinger Con (Big Guns Stables, ridden by F Prat)- This filly has yet to visit the winner’s circle, but that does not concern me in a two-year-old stake as long as the horse has been close. For Schrodinger Con, I don’t know if that’s the case. She’s run three times, and only one of them is a solid effort. Then again, she could use running in some nice weather to really showcase her talent. I don’t know what to make of her run at the $150.000 Johnson, as with the off track and the short rest, she has excuses and wasn’t terrible. What I need to see, to give me confidence to pick her, is a recent mile turf work. That’s not there, so I’ll have to pass.
#10- Baby Come Back (Nakamura Stables, ridden by D Centeno)- The only horse in this field with multiple wins, and she has never finished out of the exacta in her four career starts. She broke her maiden at LS in June, then finished second in an allowance at SAR, narrowly missing out at the wire to a filly named Trinni, who ran in the DMR Debutante a few weeks ago. For Baby Come Back, the path would be different, as it was off to the turf for the $125.000 Catch A Glimpse Stakes at WO, which she won. Now, the only question for her is whether or not she can stretch out. Seems like that will be fine.
#11- The Wire (Diablo Diablo, ridden by M Murrill)- For her debut, previous trainer Tockyocky ran her in a $32.000 maiden claimer and trainers were all over it. Diablo Diablo won the shake and since then, he’s won a lot more with her. The Wire would break her maiden at ELP following that, and it would be off to the $500.000 KD Juvenile Fillies, and she was up to that challenge. She didn’t win the race, but after running on the lead most of the way, she finished a sharp looking second (in a dead heat). Whether or not this field is as strong is something that remains to be seen, but if The Wire can find a little more finishing kick, then she’s the favorite here. Regardless of how it goes, she has a promising career, and three other trainers will be regretting missing the shake on her.
#12- Bottomless Mimosas (Mb Stables, ridden by M Murrill)- We’re just starting to get a look at this filly, and there is plenty of potential with this one. She’s raced twice, with the mediocre debut and then great rebound for her second race. For Bottomless Mimosas, that win came at SAR over Labor Day weekend. But it’s not that which grabs my attention, it’s that work she had here on the 11th. This Fire N Fury filly is more than ready to make both her turf and going long debuts, and we’ll be seeing a lot out of this one if she runs to that work and shows continued progression over her career.