Horse owner Rick Porter shouldered a horrific blow seven years ago when his filly, Eight Belles, collapsed immediately after running second behind Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby. She suffered compound fractures to both front ankles. Now Porter’s Fox Hill Farms has another top filly prospect in Songbird, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro.
The 2-year-old filly led all the way to win the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies by 5 3/4 lengths over Rachel’s Valentina, a daughter of the popular racemare, Rachel Alexandra. Dothraki Queen finished third in the 1 1⁄16-mile dirt race run in 1:42.73. Songbird, 3-5 favorite, remains undefeated in four starts, three of them Grade I stakes. She earned unofficial status as favorite for the Kentucky Oaks next May, although the possibility of seeing her in the Kentucky Derby will be a hot topic.
“We don’t have any plans yet,” said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, “but we will.”
John Antonelli bred Songbird in Kentucky.
Songbird broke sharply and went right to the lead, increasing the distance between her and Rachel’s Valentina all the way to 53/4 lengths at the finish.
“From the 10 hole he knew he had to get a good break,” Porter said about jockey Mike Smith. “It was a big jump. But he was able to get in position by the first turn and that was the key.”