The Breeders’ Cup distaffers that will be analyzed next with a look to Santa Anita on November 5 account for some of the best equine ladies in the world.
First up will be the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Fillies and Mares Sprint and a full field of speed merchants will be in the line-up going 7 furlongs. Next we’ll examine the long legs of the Filly and Mare Turf division that will negotiate a mile and a quarter on the Anita greenery.
The favorite in last year’s F and M Sprint was Cavorting at a tepid 3-1. She raced 7 wide and had to settle for fourth. Trainer Chad Brown’s student Wavell Avenue came from third to last to win going away at a juicy 10-1.
Wavell Avenue, one of the key Breeders’ Cup distaffers, will be back for more in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint but she may have lost a step. The mare has lost five of six of her races since her success in this race last year. The win came in a race where there was plenty of speed and she wore down the zip but it was only a $100,000 race.
The New York-bred Haveyougoneaway invents ways to win and she will be a major factor in the Filly and Mare Sprint. She has never been out of the exacta this year, has won eleven of her twenty six starts, has won four in a row and is coming off a win in the Grade 1 Ballerina.
The runners-up in the Ballerina, By the Moon and Carina Mia, will also contend but fans could do worse than taking a look at Tara’s Tango. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, she just chased two of the best runners in the world in Stellar Wind and Beholder. Only beaten a neck in the Grade 1 Santa Monica at Santa Anita this winter, Tara’s Tango will be dancing late if at all.
Being in front has not been a good thing traditionally as Breeders’ Cup distaffers in this race as leaders have finished third, fifth, seventh, eighth, tenth, eleventh, fourth and last year second.
Bettors should look for a runner that has a potent late kick in her arsenal.
Foreigners usually do very well in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf but last year Legatissimo stumbled badly at the start and had to settle for second at 4-5. Legatissimo was coming off a clever win in a Group 1 in Ireland. The American contingent was headed by another Brown trainee Stephanie’s Kitten. She was patiently ridden and then made a devastating move to go from 10th to a length off the lead. She continued to propel herself to win by just over a length.
One South American that earned a ‘win and you’re in’ berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf is Ryans Charm. This mare is quite charismatic. She has won multiple Group 1s, has not lost in two years and she will be a price.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien knows how to get a horse to come from Europe and win in the states. His trainees have won the Arlington Million (twice), four Breeders’ Cup races, and a number of Grade 1s in America.
In the Filly and Mare Turf he will be represented by Seventh Heaven. This filly was troubled in her first 2 starts of her career but she has been an angel since. She won her first 2 races of the year and then was compromised in her first Group effort. In her race two back, Seventh Heaven beat 10 rivals taking the Irish Oaks. She proved it was no fluke repeating in August in the Yorkshire Oaks. This racer prefers firm turf and she should get it at Santa Anita.
Another interloper that must be considered is So Mi Dar. Trained by John Gosden, who had a stable at Santa Anita years ago, this youngster road a 4-race winning streak into her last race. She was troubled in that first Group 1 effort on October 1 and still was beaten just a half-length.
Others that must be respected in the Filly and Mare Turf include Lady Eli, Sea Calisi and the home-court runner Avenge.
As far as Breeders Cup distaffers history is concerned, Ouija Board is the only miss to win the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf twice.
Since the Filly and Mare Turf was inaugurated in 1999, runners from England, France or Ireland have been victorious in 11 of 18 renewals of this race.
Coming from California has not been the preferred spot in this race. Those that prepped on the Left Coast are 0 for 33 in this event all time.
Only 7 of the 17 winners in this race have exited a winning prep.
When all is said and done in these events and no matter what kind of racing luck presents itself, classy Breeders’ Cup distaffers will prevail.
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