Eclair de Lune to skip Yellow Ribbon

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Eclair de Lune, winner of the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 21, is expected to pass Saturday's $250,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Hollywood Park and will be trained up to the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

Trainer Ron McAnally is currently in Europe on a horse-buying trip, but his assistant, Dan Landers, said that Eclair de Lune is on course for the Filly and Mare Turf.

"We'll just wait for the Breeders' Cup," Landers said. McAnally "has been very patient with her, and it's paid off."

Owned by Richard Duchossois, Eclair de Lune won the Beverly D. by 1 1/2 lengths. The third-place finisher in that field – Gypsy's Warning – is among the candidates for an open running of the Yellow Ribbon. Trained by Graham Motion, Gypsy's Warning, a South African-bred 5-year-old, won the Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap at Monmouth Park in her U.S. debut in May.

Other probable starters include Go Forth North, Hibaayeb, Lilly Fa Pootz, Princess Taylor, Restless Soul, and Turning Top.

Hibaayeb, owned by the Maktoum family's Godolphin Racing, was in quarantine Tuesday, having arrived from England. She won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting in England in June but has been unplaced in her last three starts. Hibaayeb was seventh in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks in England in her last start Aug. 19.

Lilly Fa Pootz will be starting in the longest race of her career in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon, which is run over 1 1/4 miles on turf. A former claimer trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, she had an outstanding Del Mar meeting, winning the restricted Osunitas Handicap on July 24, finishing second by a nose in the John Mabee Stakes on Aug. 15, and ending a fast-closing third in the Palomar Handicap on Sept. 6.

In the latter race over 1 1/16 miles, Lilly Fa Pootz chased a slow pace and was beaten three-quarters of a length by Gotta Have Her.