Learn more about 2012 Breeders Cup Picks.
The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf has been a race where in the past the U.S. based horses have managed to keep some sense of “home turf” against the Europeans. While some of the U.S. horses started their career in Europe, all were U.S. based at the time of their win. There is a good mix of previously imported Euros, some coming fresh off the plane from across the pond and some American horses looking to keep the crown here in the states for another year. Let us start with the runners who came out of the local prep first.
Marketing Mix won the local prep for the race, the G1 Rodeo Drive Stakes, in dominating fashion. She pulled away from a so-so field with style as the favorite at this distance, which is 2-for-2 at lifetime. She is one of the best domestic older female turf horses in the country.
Nereid emerged from a 7-week layoff to collect 2nd behind Marketing Mix. Trained by multiple Breeders’ Cup winner John Shirreffs, this daughter of Rock Hard Ten dead-heated for the win in last year’s American Oaks at this distance. He form had only been so-so this season before that race in a weak division.
Star Billing returns to the turf after a failed dirt experiment last time out. This daughter of Dynaformer finished just a head behind Nereid in that American Oaks. She is more of a miler type but could figure out a pace-pressing trip.
Stormy Lucy finished third in the Rodeo Drive, 4 lengths behind the winner. She has collected several graded stakes placings the last few months since her listed stakes win at Golden Gate in May. A grain of salt needs to be taken though about using the runners out of the Rodeo Drive liberally in one’s exotics.
Lady of Shamrock has been arguably the best 3yo turf filly in the country this year, winning two Grade 1 races, including one at the distance. She missed her prep for this due to a minor but now resolved issue. She has been working great for the race with a steady work tab.
In Lingerie won the Grade 1 Spinster on Polytrack last out. She has never been on the turf before, but should handle the surface switch based on the pedigree. The distance might be a question mark, especially against this group of competition.
Nahrain, Zagora and I’m A Dreamer come out of the Grade 1 Flower Bowl last time out, finishing 1st, 2nd and 4th respectively. Euro shipper Nahrain blew a clear lead last year in this race to longshot winner Perfect Shirl. With the switch in venue to Santa Anita this year, this race is one furlong shorter, which definitely helps Nahrain. The Flower Bowl was her first win this year. Zagora has been in the U.S. for a couple of years. She has been more effective at the middle distances and might be a shade below the best in here going ten furlongs. She’ll come running late, if at all. Euro shipper I’m A Dreamer won the Beverly D. earlier in the year, then was left with too much to do in the stretch in the Flower Bowl, valiantly getting within a length. The firm turf should not be a problem for any of these three.
Up has run ten times this year with mixed results on both sides of the pond. She has won a group2 & 3, but finished in the lower half of the exotics against G1 competition, including the Beverly D. She seems to prefer just a bit of cut in the ground, and the ten furlongs is probably her upper limit.
Ridasiyna won the prestigious Group 1 Longines Prix de L’Opera last time out going away from the field. She is lightly raced, with a four-for-five lifetime record. She should seem the handle the firm going she will see this weekend. There have been whispers that she may be over the top, as this race was more of an afterthought.
This leaves the morning line favorite The Fugue. This European shipper has won the only two times she ran at something close to the distance, winning a Group 1 & a Group 3. She comes off a tough loss to Shareta, who is one of the favorites (against males) in the Breeders’ Cup Turf on Saturday. Her connections have said that they were specifically pointing to this race as the end goal. She appears to be a solid favorite.
An interesting mix of Europeans, ex-Euros and American horses will make this an interesting betting race!
Learn more about 2012 Breeders Cup Picks.
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