February 22, 2024

Speed could give Juliet Foxtrot an edge in Jenny Wiley

Juliet Foxtrot and jockey Florent Geroux score a nice win in the Modesty Handicap (G3) at Arlington Park on July 13, 2019 (c) Coady Photography/Arlington Park

Jenny Wiley S. (G1) — Race 10 (6:03 p.m. ET)

Juliet Foxtrot hasn’t won above Grade 3 level in two previous campaigns in the U.S., but might hold the tactical advantage in a relatively paceless renewal of the $300,000 Jenny Wiley S. (G3) over 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Keeneland on Saturday.

Aside from two unplaced efforts last season, the Juddmonte Farms homebred has been a relative gem of consistency. Although her biggest wins occurred against lesser in the 2020 Gallorette H. (G3) and 2019 Modesty H. (G3), the daughter of Dansili has given a good account of herself in higher-end spots. Third to champion Rushing Fall in last year’s renewal of the Jenny Wiley, held in July, Juliet Foxtrot has also placed in two editions of the Matriarch (G1) as well as the First Lady (G1). On paper, she appears to have the most early foot among her five Jenny Wiley rivals.

Trainer Chad Brown, who’s won four of the past six editions of the Jenny Wiley, relies on Etoile, last seen winning the E.P. Taylor (G1) over 1 1/4 miles at Woodbine in October, and Tamahere, who captured the Sands Point (G2) for three-year-old fillies in her U.S. debut in October prior to finishing sixth in the Matriarch at Del Mar as the favorite.

Another Matriarch also-ran, Maxim Rate, previously won the Goldikova (G2) and placed in the Rodeo Drive (G1) at Santa Anita last fall, while victories by Micheline in the Hillsborough (G2) and Dueling Grounds Oaks book-ended a narrow loss in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) over the Keeneland turf in October. The field is rounded out by Grade 3 veteran La Signare.

Ben Ali S. (G3) — Race 7 (4:24 p.m. ET)

Speed is also in short supply for the $150,000 Ben Ali S. (G3), a nine-furlong test on the main track for older horses. Graded stakes winners Silver Dust and Night Ops are the marquee names in the Ben Ali, but the allowance-class Sprawl, Beau Luminarie, and Treasure Trove don’t appear out of place against those two given the pace uncertainties.

Giant’s Causeway S. — Race 8 (4:57 p.m. ET)

Wagering in the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway S., a 5 1/2-furlong turf dash for fillies and mares, is likely to revolve around Elle Z, Into Mystic, and In Good Spirits, all of whom fared well in stakes at Fair Grounds over the winter, and Jakarta, a solid third behind Got Stormy and Into Mystic over this course and distance in the Franklin County (G3) last October.