Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic headlines Santa Anita's Friday schedule November 2. The best female dirt horse three years old and upward will be after their share of the $2 million purse when they go 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's main track.
The Ladies' Classic goes as race 9 on Santa Anita's Friday schedule with a post time of 4:30 PM. Eight top females have been entered. Let's take a look at all eight entries and their past performances ahead of this most important, incredibly deep Grade 1 race.
Royal Delta - has looked exceptional of late - two straight wins including the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap and the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap on June 16 at Churchill Downs were followed by a respectable second in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap at Saratoga on August 26. Last time out was a bounce back - a win in the Grade 1 Beldame at Belmont Park September 29. She won last year's edition of this race to end a 2011 campaign that included wins in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes and Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Bill Mott trained Royal Delta has three wins and two seconds this year and is the one to beat Friday!
Awesome Feather - Chad Brown filly has 10 career starts and 10 wins - not too shabby! She is a multiple graded stakes winner and the champion of the 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. She won the Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff in January and then endured an eight month layoff before coming back September 20 to a win in the Nasty Storm Stakes. Awesome Feather has yet to taste defeat and will be looking to keep it that way this weekend.
Questing - made her North American debut with a fifth place finish in last year's edition of this race and failed to place in two Allowance Optional Claiming races after that. She won three straight earlier this year - an easy win in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes over In Lingerie and Grace Hall by nine lengths to follow another easy win in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 21 by four and a quarter lengths and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Belmont Park on June 24. Last time out was a close second in the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes at Parx September 22 to My Miss Aurelia. Questing is coming into her own and could sew up three year old filly divisional honors in the Breeders' Cup. She has won all four of her career starts on dirt and is yet another to watch in this exceptional field.
My Miss Aurelia - is the reigning Eclipse Award winner for two year old females with wins at the Grade 1 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park and Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga last year. She has only two starts in 2012 because of a shin injury but she raced to a win in the Mandys Gold Stakes by three lengths at Saratoga on August 8 and followed that up with an impressive win in the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes last time out at Parx September 22. My Miss Aurelia now has six career starts and six victories!
Love and Pride - has raced eight times in 2012 - seven graded stakes races. She has won two huge races in a row heading into this weekend - the Grade 1 Zenyatta last time out here September 29 and an uber-impressive win in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign after a somewhat disappointing fourth in the Delaware Handicap. Prior to that was a terrific win in the Grade 3 Obeah Stakes on June 16 and a decent second in the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes at Pimlico on May 19. She has seven wins, two seconds and four third place finishes in 16 career starts and is another solid contender based on three wins in the last four starts.
Grace Hall - Grace Hall has won two of her last three starts - the Grade 2 Indiana Oaks last time out and the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks two back with an uncharacteristic fifth in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes in between. She had a third place finish as 5-2 favorite in the Kentucky Oaks, a second in the Grade 2 Davona Dale, and had a win in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks all this year. She has place in five of six this year, has won three of her last five and is another serious contender to this Title.
Include Me Out - has been stellar in 2012 - six starts - four wins including the Grade 2 Marjorie L. Everett Handicap, in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes at Santa Anita on March 17, an impressive 4 1/2 length victory in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes on January 22 and an impressive win in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch August 4. Last time out was a somewhat disappointing third in the Grade 1 Zenyatta on this track. She has been at or near the top in every start this year and could reasonably be there again Friday.
Class Included - has been mighty impressive this year winning six of seven starts including the Grade 3 Ballerina Stakes last time out and a host of minor stakes races. She has 16 career starts with 10 wins and six second place finishes - pretty darn good!