Fox Hill Farms Inc.’s Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro) entered Saturday’s $1.84 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) owning a perfect three-for-three mark and was made the 3-5 favorite under jockey Mike Smith.
The dark bay lass lived up to all expectations and added yet another easy win to her resume when wiring the field by 5 3/4 lengths under a hand ride.
Songbird broke from the far outside post 10, but that didn’t stop her from immediately angling over toward the inside. She used her speed to out sprint the rest of her rivals and set the pace through splits of :23.60, :47.15, 1:11.42 and 1:36.33.
At every point Songbird extended her advantage and loped into the stretch already a clear winner. All Smith had to do was stay aboard, and he did that admirably as Songbird drew off to stop the clock for 1 1/16 miles over Keeneland’s fast dirt in 1:42.73, just shy of the 1:42.51 track record.
“Once we jumped out the gate, it was just a matter of me staying on,” Smith stated. “She’s so talented and she gives you so much confidence. I almost felt like yawning as we went along. I don’t mean that in a bragging way. She just gives me that much confidence.”
“She just got out there and did her thing,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer agreed. “She’s a really nice filly and we’re very blessed to have her. We look forward to next year.”
Next year, of course, includes the 2016 Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 7 under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs. But though Songbird is the early favorite for that nine-furlong test, there are already questions about whether she could run one day later in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
“Well, I think we’re a long way off from thinking about that, but she’s big enough, and she’s showed that she’s talented enough,” Fox Hill Farms’ Rick Porter said when asked about the Derby in the Juvenile Fillies post-race press conference.
Regardless of what the future holds for Songbird – Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks – the Kentucky-bred lass is guaranteed an Eclipse Award as the 2015 champion two-year-old filly.
She came to Fox Hill Farms as a $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected yearling last August, and posted her first official workout for Hollendorfer on May 23 at Santa Anita Park.
Songbird waited until July 26 to make her racing debut, doing so at Del Mar in a six-furlong maiden which she captured by 6 1/2 lengths. Next up came her first real test, as Hollendorfer saddled her to the Del Mar Debutante (G1) on September 5, but the talented miss recorded a 5 1/4-length score on that occasion.
After Del Mar concluded its meet, Songbird returned to Santa Anita and proceeded to add a 4 1/2-length victory in the Chandelier S. (G1) to her resume.
The dark bay lass boasts $1.502 million in career earnings, with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile fillies now taking pride of place on her line.
Bred by John Antonelli, Songbird is out of Grade 2 winner Ivanavinalot (West Acre), making her a half-sister to the dam of Grade 3 scorer Mico Margarita (Run Away and Hide).