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Monday, October 24, 2005

Breeders Cup Notes - Filly & Mare Turf

- I think that her abbreviated 2005 season is reason enough to try and beat Ouija Board in the Filly and Mare Turf if she is favored as expected. Value demands that she be bet against in my opinion, unless she’s significantly higher than the 3-2 that the British books have her at, a price that some over there seem to think is a bargain. If she’s in the same form as 2004 and runs back to the 108 Beyer she earned when winning the F&M Turf (or even a few points lower), she’ll likely repeat. But her single prep against questionable rivals is enough reason to take a stand against.

I’m also going to stand against the three top fillies out of the Flower Bowl here at Belmont. Wonder Again and Film Maker are wonderfully consistent mares that are always close, but neither has done much winning of late. Wonder Again hasn’t won in six tries going back to last July, and Film Maker has one win – a Grade 3 at Pimlico – in her last eight starts. I’ll certainly be using them on my tickets, but not on top. The Flower Bowl winner Riskaverse has never won two in a row, and is unlikely to get as smooth a trip this time.

So here’s three horses I’ll be looking at:

I don’t need to say much about Megahertz. She’s in the best form of her career now, and ran her race even on the yielding turf, a surface she's not supposed to care for, in the Beverly D. Still, Frankel is concerned about a possible soft course. Nonetheless, she’s so sharp and consistent now, I wouldn’t eliminate her on the basis of the turf condition if you like her otherwise.

Wend ran a race you have to see to believe when second in the G2 WinStar Galaxy at Keeneland in her last. She was very wide and last around the first turn, stayed wide the entire route, swung even wider in the stretch, yet found her best stride late in the mile affair, closing in 24 flat to miss by a neck to Intercontinental, who will have to prove she can stretch out here. Wend already has – her highest Beyer race was her win in the ten furlong New York Handicap, in which she beat the aforementioned Wonder Again and Film Maker. She was unbeaten on grass before running sixth on the yielding turf in the Beverly D, so she may prefer the turf on the firmer side, and there's certainly no guarantee of that come Saturday.

A good longshot possibility could be Karen’s Caper. Her lines in Europe don’t put her on the same level as Ouija Board if the latter is 100%, but she’s a three year old who has shown Timeform improvement throughout the season as she moved up in company to Grade 1’s against older fillies and mares. She made her US debut against her own age group just last weekend in the G1 QEII Cup at Keeneland, closing with a bold rush after being blocked repeatedly through mid-stretch to somehow miss the head-bob photo despite clearly passing the winner, while getting the final eighth in :11 1/5. For anyone who had her, it had to be an all-time tough beat at 11-1. At a mile and an eighth, it was her first race beyond a mile, and if her finish is any indication, she’ll absolutely relish the extra furlong at Belmont; she has good European distance influences on her distaff side. She's by Mile winner War Chant out of a stakes winning mare by French champion Caerleon, whose foals have an average winning distance of 10.8 furlongs; and she's inbred to Northern Dancer 3x4, and to Princequillo and Hail to Reason 5x5. The two weeks between races is definitely a concern (it’s her third race in seven weeks), but if she’s anything close to the 20-1 she’s listed at in the Form, she could definitely be worth a look.

1 Comment:

Walter said...

Ouija ready to Board the plane

Ouija Board was reported in top form as she prepared to fly out to America in search of back-to-back victories in the Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Ed Dunlop's dual Oaks winner is sharing a direct flight to New York ahead of Saturday's meeting at Belmont Park with Jeremy Noseda's Breeders Cup Mile hope Majors Cast. "She flies out later today. It shouldn't be as bad as last year to Texas which was more than 10 hours. This is only six or seven so the trip is more suitable for her," said Dunlop's assistant Peter Shoemark. "She's sharing a plane with Majors Cast. They each have a groom and will be well looked after." Ouija Board landed last year's Filly & Mare Turf by a length and a half but has only raced twice this term - when beaten in the Prince of Wales Stakes before returning successfully at Newmarket last month. "She did a normal piece of work on Saturday with her usual work rider and her usual lead horse. We were very pleased with her, she's in good form," Shoemark continued. "Obviously we were delighted with her win in the Princess Royal at Newmarket. Everything's gone to plan and we couldn't be happier. We wouldn't want bottomless ground. She's run on good-to-soft but not on very soft, but i suppose everyone is in the same boat."