Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf
Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf
Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf - Field and Analysis
by T.O. Whenham
The Filly and Mare Turf was only added to the Breeders' Cup nine years ago, but it has quickly established itself as an intriguing and challenging event. This year will be no exception. We have two incredibly hyped horses - Nashoba's Key and Wait a While - taking on 10 challengers. The race this year, at 1 3/8 miles, will challenge the horses around three turns, and it could get tight. The ability to handle that setup has to figure prominently into the handicapping of this race.
Before we look at the fearsome twosome, let's quickly dismiss the portion of the field that likely stands little chance. All My Loving has a weak record in graded stakes in Europe, and her inclusion here is a bit of a mystery. Argentina has only run twice this year, and she doesn't appear competitive at distances over nine furlongs. Arravale hasn't managed to finish better than fifth in stakes competition this year, and hasn't managed to find the form she had last year. Danzon has never tried the distance, and only has a stakes win this year on a synthetic track. Simply Perfect, a European runner, has only stretched out past a mile once and it didn't go well. Timarwa, another European, won last time out, but that was in a grade three. She has not been as competitive against higher-level competition. She doesn't seem good enough. Precious Kitten has never been worse than second this year, and she will set the pace here, but she has never covered this distance, and it doesn't seem likely that she will be able keep her pace up over the extra yardage. Speed has not traditionally fared well in this race.
Now on to the good stuff. Nashoba's Key has a perfect record over seven starts. On the strength of that she has deservingly been installed as the favorite. She's beat the best of California, and clearly was born for the surface. Its always good practice to look for holes in the favorite, though, and she is not without problems. She's never traveled outside of California, never been on a plane, never covered this distance, never run on anything other than a firm course, never tried three turns, and hasn't always faced the toughest competition in California. Among her most consistent competition has been Balance, and she is just 20/1 in the Distaff. That's a lot of questions for a favorite. That being said, she has done everything that has been asked for her, and it will be tough to ignore her.
The other horse to get all the attention is Todd Pletcher's Wait a While. She was fourth in this race last year, but still won the Eclipse Award for top three-year-old filly on the strength of the four-straight wins leading into the Breeders' Cup. This year is a bit harder to figure out. She was totally dominant in the Ballston Spa at Saratoga, but that was really the only time that she has looked good against top competition. She didn't like the course at all in her last race in the Flower Bowl, and she won't like Monmouth either if the weather is at all off causing the course to be soft.
Sandwiched between those two horses in the morning line is Passage of Time, a three-year-old British filly. She was favored in the English Oaks, but a throat abscess discovered after the race caused her to end up eighth. She beat the best fillies and colts in France at the end of her two-year-old year, though, and is ridiculously classy. She came back reasonably well from a layoff after her throat problems, and could rebound well again here. She may benefit from the far less rigorous American medication standards in this race. European three year olds have won the race twice before.
Honey Ryder, a six year old Todd Pletcher mare making her last career start, is by far the veteran of the field with 32 career starts. She had a disastrous trip to Dubai this year, but rebounded with a win over this distance at Belmont and a strong second against the boys in the United Nations at Monmouth. She obviously likes the surface. Her last race, the Beverly D at Arlington, was flat, but the turf that day was like a sponge, and she wasn't the only one who didn't handle it well.
Lahudood is a horse that will split the opinions of handicappers. She also struggled with the turf in the Beverly D. She bounced back to win the Flower Bowl at 21/1 in one of the bigger upsets of the prep season. Critics will argue that she benefited from an absolutely perfect trip on that day. I'm not sure that that's fair. She did have a great race that day, but she has improved since being in the U.S., and she came off a solid year in France last year. She's not the best here, but she could easily take home a piece of the prize. Her connections believe in her enough to supplement her to this race at a cost of $180,000.
Re: Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf
Lahudood captures Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf
October 27th, 2007
Oceanport, NJ (Sports Network) - Racing on a turf course listed as soft, Lahudood posted a one length victory in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at 1 3/8 miles.
With Alan Garcia in the saddle, Lahudood took advantage of some strange running by the early leaders. Simply Perfect had the lead as the field crossed under the wire for the first time. The filly was making her North America debut and apparently had problems with the Monmouth Park turf course.
Coming off the turn into the backstretch, Simply Perfect bolted to the far outside, taking several others horses with her. She was then pulled up by jockey John Murtagh.
Lahudood was running behind Argentina around the final turn and took the lead at the top of the stretch. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Lahudood held off a late move by Honey Ryder to stop the clock at 2:22 3/5.
Behind Honey Ryder in third was Passage of Time with Nashoba's Key fourth in the 11 horse field.
Wait a While, 4-1 in the morning-line, was scratched Saturday morning.
Lahudood is owned by Shadwell Farm and collects $1 million with the win. The four-year-old was coming off a victory in the Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park and has won four of 12 career starts for more than $1.5 million.
Lahudood returned $25.40, $11.40 and $6.40. Honey Ryder paid $6.60 and $4.60, while 5-2 post-time favorite Passage Of Time paid $3.40 to show.
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