Breeders' Cup 2012: Ladies' Classic preview

Andy Lyons

No winner of a Breeders' Cup juvenile race has ever come back to win another Breeders' Cup race. Can either Awesome Feather or My Miss Aurelia break the streak in the 2012 Ladies' Classic?

Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic
1 1/8 Miles, Dirt
Three-years-old and up, fillies & mares

Day: Friday, Nov. 2nd
Post Time: 4:40pm Pacific

The field might be the smallest of all 15 Breeders' Cup races but it's jam packed with talent from top to bottom. Defending champion Royal Delta will attempt to become the only the second filly to win back-to-back Ladies' Classics (formerly the Distaff), joining the great Bayakoa (ARG) double in 1989 and 1990. Remarkably, Royal Delta isn't the headline filly in this race as the field includes two undefeated runners (Awesome Feather and My Miss Aurelia), along with double Grade 1 winner Questing (GB).

Both My Miss Aurelia and Awesome Feather are former winners of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (My Miss Aurelia won the 2011 Juvenile Fillies, Awesome Feather the 2010 version), which brings us to a quirky and interesting piece of Breeders' Cup trivia: no horse that won a Breeders' Cup juvenile race has ever returned to win another Breeders' Cup race in subsequent years. Heading into the 2012 Breeders' Cup, the overall record of juvenile winners in later years is an eye-popping 23-0-2-4.

Below is a summary of the record of former winners of a Breeders' Cup juvenile race in other Breeders' Cup races:

Horse Juvenile Win Later BC Starts
Arazi 1991 Juvenile 1992 Mile (11th)
Chief's Crown 1984 Juvenile 1985 Classic (4th)
Favorite Trick 1997 Juvenile 1988 Mile (8th)
Fly So Free 1990 Juvenile 1991 Classic (4th); 1993 Sprint (9th)
Epitome 1987 Juvenile Fillies 1988 Distaff (7th)
Go For Wand 1989 Juvenile Fillies 1990 Distaff (DNF)
Gilded Time 1992 Juvenile 1993 Sprint (3rd)
Indian Blessing 2007 Juvenile Fillies
2008 Filly&Mare Sprint (2nd)
Macho Uno 2000 Juvenile 2001 Classic (4th); 2002 Classic (5th)
Maram 2008 Juvenile Fillies Turf 2009 Filly&Mare Turf (6th)
Meadow Star 1990 Juvenile Fillies 1992 Distaff (7th)
Midshipman 2008 Juvenile 2009 Dirt Mile (3rd)
My Flag 1995 Juvenile Fillies 1996 Distaff (4th)
Open Mind 1988 Juvenile Fillies 1989 Distaff (3rd)
Outstandingly 1984 Juvenile Fillies 1986 Distaff (3rd)
Rhythm 1989 Juvenile 1990 Classic (8th)
Silverbulletday 1998 Juvenile Fillies 1999 Distaff (6th)
Storm Flag Flying 2002 Juvenile Fillies 2004 Distaff (2nd)
Street Sense 2006 Juvenile 2007 Classic (4th)
Twilight Ridge 1985 Juvenile Fillies 1986 Distaff (6th)
Uncle Mo 2010 Juvenile 2011 Classic (10th)
Awesome Feather 2010 Juvenile Fillies 2012 Distaff (?)
My Miss Aurelia 2011 Juvenile Fillies 2012 Distaff (?)

The Pick

Despite the long, futile history of juvenile winners in later Breeders' Cups, Awesome Feather has proven in the past that when she's healthy, she's as good as it gets in the. The key question for Awesome Feather is whether or not running just one race since January is enough to prepare her for the deep and challenging field she'll face on Friday. She's run sparingly throughout her career and is able to run a big race off little to no preparation. If she's right, she's the pick.

Class Included is the longest shot in the field but it's hard not to root for this Emerald Downs-based, Jim Penny-trained filly in the biggest, most difficult race of her career.

5-Awesome Feather (3/1)
6-Royal Delta (9/5)
3-Class Included (30/1)

The Field

Post Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Grace Hall J. Castellano A. Dutrow 10/1
2 My Miss Aurelia C. Nakatani S. Asmussen 4/1
3 Class Included R. Baze J. Penny 30/1
4 Questing (GB) I. Ortiz K. McLaughlin 4/1
5 Awesome Feather J. Sanchez C. Brown 3/1
6 Royal Delta M. Smith W. Mott 9/5
7 Include Me Out J. Talamo R. Ellis 15/1
8 Love and Pride J. Velazquez T. Pletcher 8/1

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