Ten years ago, Eye of Taurus raced to victory in the second division of the Pin Oak Valley View (G3) for owner Harvey Clarke and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
On Wednesday, her daughter Eye of a Soldier will go postward in the 29th running of the $200,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2), a Breeders' Cup Challenge race that awards the winner a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be run Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.
Owned by the Estate of Harvey Clarke and Paul Braverman, Eye of a Soldier arrived at Keeneland Monday morning from Monmouth Park, where she has posted a 2-1-1-0 record under the care of trainer Timothy Hills.
“Mr. Clarke died earlier this year, and his wife, Donna, and son, Scott, have continued the stable and kept me on as part of the team,” Hills said. Braverman bought into the filly after her second start.
A daughter of Soldat, who campaigned for a partnership that included Clarke and Braverman, Eye of a Soldier comes into Wednesday's race off a 15¼-length off-the-turf romp at Monmouth on Sept. 7.
“Her rider, Chris DeCarlo, thinks she is stakes material,” Hills said. “She was ready to run the first time she raced and she ran very well against the boys going two turns on the grass. The way she won in her second start, I was not surprised at all. She was just galloping off the leaders. It was visually impressive.”
Eye of a Soldier has had three works on the dirt at Monmouth since that victory, the most recent being a 1:00 move over 5 furlongs on Oct. 2.
“She trains really strong, and her pedigree suggests she'd be good (on turf),” said Hills, who has started 25 horses here dating back to 1976 with five victories that includes a score in the 2003 Woodford with Joe's Son Joey.
DeCarlo will have the mount Wednesday and break from post position 13 in the 1 1/16-mile test that serves as the year's final “Win and You're In” race for the Breeders' Cup.
“Wednesday's race is a little close to the Breeders' Cup, but if she is impressive, it would be a consideration,” Hills said.
Clarke bred champion I'll Have Another, winner of the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1).
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