'Ladies' Shaping Up As A True Classic
While the Classic is sure to bring a rousing end to the weekend, the most highly anticipated Breeders' Cup race could take place Friday with the $2 million Ladies' Classic. Run at 1 1/8 miles, the Ladies' Classic is shaping up as one of the best renewals ever, with a championship surely lying in the balance.
Besilu Stable's reigning Ladies' Classic winner ROYAL DELTA looks ready to defend her title off a romping 9 1/2-length win in Belmont's September 29 "Win and You're In" Beldame (GI) for Mott. The 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker, who earned a Ladies' Classic berth in the Delaware Handicap (GII) in July and also won Churchill's Fleur de Lis (GII) in June, brings an 8-for-14 lifetime record to Santa Anita.
Royal Delta worked four furlongs in 47.34 October 13 over the Belmont main track, her first work since the Beldame. Mott was extremely pleased with the drill.
"She went well, she looked good, she did it on hold," Mott said. "She looked as good as ever. It was a good work for the first time back."
The Ladies' Classic is so rich in talent that it's conceivable the defending champion, who won her last start by 9 1/2 lengths, may not even be favored. That distinction could fall on Stronach Stable's AWESOME FEATHER, who will put her unbeaten 10-for-10 record on the line for trainer Chad Brown. The 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Of Course won the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in 2010 to cap off a championship 2-year-old season and, after battling tendon issues, returned from an eight month layoff to win Belmont's Nasty Storm by 11 1/4 lengths in a dazzling 1:33.47 for the 1-mile in her Ladies' Classic prep.
Green Hill Farm's LOVE AND PRIDE and Jay Em Ess Stable's INCLUDE ME OUT, the 1-3 finishers of the local "Win and You're In" Zenyatta (GI) September 29, rate long looks. The former, a 4-year-old daughter of 1992 Classic winner A.P. Indy trained by Pletcher, enters in career form, having also won the Saratoga's "Win and You're In" Personal Ensign (GI) in August over Royal Delta. Include Me Out, a 4-year-old daughter of Include, earned an automatic berth into the Ladies' Classic with her win in Del Mar's Clement Hirsch (GI) in August for trainer Ron Ellis and won a pair of graded stakes at Santa Anita this winter in the La Canada (GII) in January and Santa Margarita (GI) in March.
Breeders' Cup Betting at Santa Anita with OffTrackBetting.com
The 3-year-old fillies hardly take a back seat to their elders and are led by Stonestreet Stable and George Bolton's MY MISS AURELIA, the reigning Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies winner and Godolphin Racing's homebred QUESTING (GB), the 1-2 finishers of Parx's Cotillion (GI) September 22. Steve Asmussen trains the former, a daughter of Smart Strike who stayed unbeaten in six lifetime starts with her determined head victory over Questing, a daughter of Hard Spun who won the Coaching Club American Oaks (GI) and Alabama (GI) this summer at Saratoga for McLaughlin. Add in Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stable and Stuart Grant's GRACE HALL, who was second in the Juvenile Fillies last year and recently won the Indiana Oaks (GII) at Hoosier Downs October 6 for trainer Tony Dutrow and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber's IN LINGERIE, who earned an automatic berth into the Ladies' Classic with a win over her elders in Keeneland's Spinster (GI) October 7 for Pletcher and the 3-year-old fillies offer a serious challenge in the Friday feature.
|Breeders' Cup Race||Grade||Purse||Date|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile||I||$1,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Distaff||I||$2,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies||I||$2,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf||I||$2,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Sprint||I||$1,500,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile||I||$2,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Mile||I||$2,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Turf||I||$4,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Classic||I||$6,000,000||November 5|