Rescheduled Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' Races Take To BAQ Turf

Agate Road | Sarah Andrew


After significant rainfall cancelled the entire Friday and Saturday Belmont at the Big A cards, a pair of Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' Challenge races were moved from Sunday to Wednesday in order to allow everyone to dry out.

The GII Miss Grillo S., a pathway to the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, brings together a cast of 12. Only Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott's Gala Brand (Violence) has graded experience. The chestnut filly delivered in her second start when she faced males and won the GIII With Anticipation S. Aug. 31 at Saratoga over next-out GI bet365 Summer S. hero Carson's Run (Cupid).

From the inside gates, Appellate (Constitution) from the Todd Pletcher barn and Hard to Justify (Justify) from Chad Brown's shedrow will tussle once again. The latter won on debut by a head over the former July 23 at Saratoga, but the Pletcher trainee made a start since Sept. 3 upstate and gained some valuable grass experience as a runner-up once again.

Meanwhile, Gainesway homebred Memorialize (Karakontie {Jpn}) for Graham Motion is looking to build on her own maiden victory, this one at second-asking, when the chestnut filly won confidently by three lengths Aug. 20 at Saratoga.

The boys get their chance later on the BAQ card when the GII Pilgrim S. goes off with GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf implications at stake. Leading the way is 'TDN Rising Star' Agate Road (Quality Road), who absolutely rolled from seemingly nowhere Sept. 2 at Saratoga to break his maiden by a neck at second asking.

“His last breeze was very good. He's training well and came out of his race in good order,” said the colt's trainer, Todd Pletcher. “He got a very wide trip, which maybe turned out to be a blessing with all that was going on at the eighth pole. Turning for home, I thought he had way too much to do, and he really kicked in late. He's had a little bit of experience, so hopefully that pays dividends.”

A pair of runners who might fly under the radar are Liam's Journey (Liam's Map) for Mike Maker and Fulmineo (Bolt d'Oro) for Arnaud Delacour.

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