Showing posts with label Filly and Mare Turf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Filly and Mare Turf. Show all posts

Monday, October 20, 2008

Second Round of BC Analysis : Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf

(pictured is 2004 and 2006 BC F&M Turf Champion, Ouija Board)

By: T.R. Slyder,

I checked out a few of the races and have some insights to provide.

Firstly, I'm not sure that I'll provide analysis for every race, especially on Friday's card. With all the new races being added to the Breeder's Cup (especially on Friday's card), I feel that the talent pool is watered down and fewer certainties emerge as a result. That's not to say that there isn't still a lot of money to be made on those races, but I just can't get as excited for those races, so I'll handicap them if I have time leftover after handicapping the races I actually care about. That being said, let's get it on.

The Breeder's Cup Fillies and Mares Turf

This race is a 1.25 miles on the Turf (as the name implies). The last 6 winning Beyer Speed Figures for this race, starting with last year are: 105, 108, 108, 108, 109 and 109. So you can see what caliber of Filly or Mare it takes to win this race- a very, very special one. In fact, in the 10 runnings of this race, the lowest winning Beyer was 105, so keep that in mind while you handicap the race.

This race really hinges upon weather European superhorse Goldikova will enter this race or opt for the Breeders' Cup Mile against the boys. If she does enter this race, she will tower of this field and be extremely difficult to beat. I handicapped this race assuming that she would not enter this race, but if she is in the race, I would pick her to win.

What I noticed initially about this race is how few horses had won a race at this distance. The Eurotrash horses are all very talented, but have had the bulk of their success at one mile. I would certainly entertain the argument that Halfway to Heaven could be the most talented horse in this race, the distance remains a question. That's like saying. Whereas her Eurotrash rival, Folk Opera, appears to be less talented, she is 3-for-3 at this distance. Those three races were of lesser quality than Halfway to Heaven's 1-mile long races, so it's a matter of how you value them. Would you rather bet on Usain Bolt in the 400 meters, or the US Champion 400 meter runner? Bolt is more talented, but not tested at that distance.

For the Americans, Wait a While is my clear favorite. She is 3-for-3 on Santa Anita's turf course, and is 3-for-4 at this distance. Most importantly- she has won at this distance at Santa Anita twice in two attempts- both Grade 1 races, including her last race out where she held off a very game Vacare, by 3/4 of a length. Furthering my case for Wait a While, her highest Beyer figure came at Santa Anita at this distance. So you get the feeling she'll be at her favorite track and distance on Friday.

Mauralakana is also a very likable horse. She has won a Grade 1 and Grade 2 at this distance, and is as consistent as any horse in this field- of her 7 starts this year she has 5 wins and 2 seconds. Other notable horses are and Forever Together and Dynaforce. Dynaforce who beat Mauralakana last time out, appears to have the talent to win this race if she fires her best effort, but with only 1 win in 4 attempts this year, I don't find myself salivating over her chances to win. I feel similarly about Forever Together, she's unquestionably talented, but I think this distance is a bit too long for her, and this will be a tough spot to try and win a race that isn't your best fit. Every horse I mentioned, are worthy of inclusion in your exotics, but my top three are the following (again, this is assuming Goldikova is NOT in this race).

1. Wait a While- She's the only horse who will be at her favorite track AND distance today, and she is certainly has enough talent to win here.

2. Halfway to Heaven (Ire)- This horse is dripping with talent and class and has shown an abundance of grit in all of her wins. While this is her first race in North America, and only her second race at this distance, I think she has the experience and talent to make up for any discomfort she may have.

3. Folk Opera (Ire)- I had a difficult time choosing between her or Mauralakana for this spot, but ended up on her due to her being 3-for-3 at this distance, and having a very sharp race last time out in her North American debut. She'll have to be sharp to hit the board on Friday, but the Godolphin Stable doesn't waste their time shipping horses that are not sharp.

4. Mauralakana- She has the talent to win, but I'm not crazy about her last race where she got a poor trip in a field of only 5 as the heavy favorite, and was beaten by 4 lengths to Dynaforce, and barely held on for third against fellow entrant in this race (who recently scratched from this race), the considerably less-talented Communique. She has the look of a top-tier Grade 2 horse, and a second tier Grade 1 horse.

For the latest information on this race click here.