2021 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf: Delacour eyeing Jessamine for Koala Princess
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Undefeated after two races, Maryland-based Koala Princess has credentials as attractive as any domestic prospect for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Nov. 5 at Del Mar.

The question is how to campaign Koala Princess in coming weeks.

Trainer Arnaud Delacour and the partnership that owns Koala Princess – Runnymede Farm, Peter Callahan, and Chris Zinkhan – have the option of a start in the Grade 2 Jessamine Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf on Oct. 13 at Keeneland, or waiting for the Breeders’ Cup.

“I’m waiting to see what the race will be like,” Delacour said of the Jessamine.

The winner of the $200,000 Jessamine receives a fees-paid berth to the Juvenile Fillies Turf, which is run at a mile.

Koala Princess won her debut in a maiden special weight race for sprinters on turf on Aug. 21 at Monmouth Park from the front, and closed from eighth in a field of 11 to win the $432,250 Ainsworth Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs on the undulating course at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 12.

“I like what I see so far,” Delacour said earlier this week. “I was pleased to see her come from off the pace. She’s always been very professional.”

Koala Princess is one of several exceptional fillies under consideration for the Juvenile Fillies Turf on both sides of the Atlantic.

Last Saturday, Tenebrism (trained by Aidan O’Brien) and Flotus (Simon and Ed Crisford) finished first and second in the Grade 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at six furlongs at Newmarket Racecourse in England. Both have been mentioned for the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Wild Beauty, trained in England by Charlie Appleby, earned a fees-paid berth with a smart win in the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes on Sept. 19 at Woodbine.

European races such as Sunday’s Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris and the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile on Oct. 8 at Newmarket may offer further clues regarding foreign participation. The winner of the Boussac receives a fees-paid berth to the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Hello You won the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket on Sept. 24 to earn a fees-paid berth to the Juvenile Fillies Turf. She may start in the Fillies’ Mile, trainer David Loughnane told the British press last week.

This is a big weekend for American candidates, with the Grade 2 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont Park and $150,000 Selima Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday and the $200,000 Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday all likely to produce starters.

The $200,000 Jessamine may include Turnerloose, winner of the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies Turf on Sept. 6. Owned by Ike and Dawn Thrash, Turnerloose is unbeaten in two starts for trainer Brad Cox, who won the 2020 Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland with Aunt Pearl.

New York-based trainer Chad Brown has won a record five of the 13 runnings of the Juvenile Fillies Turf and may have a potent team for this year’s race. Kenchin and McKulick are expected to run in the Miss Grillo, while Consumer Spending is bound for the Selima. Customer List is likely to start in the Jessamine, Brown said.