Breeders' Cup 2012: Filly & Mare Turf preview

Ridasiyna - Alan Crowhurst

Lady of Shamrock and Marketing Mix hold the best hopes for North American horses in the Filly and Mare Turf.

Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf
1 1/4 Miles, Turf
Three-years-old and up, fillies and mares
$2,000,000

Day: Friday, Nov. 2
Post Time: 6:48pm ET
TV: NBCSN

Similar to almost every race at the Breeders' Cup, the Filly & Mare Turf features a full field of high class horses with very few with no shot to win. The contingent of European shippers is talented enough to sweep this race if they take to the firmer ground at Santa Anita.

Nahrain (GB) was second to Perfect Shirl in last year's Filly & Mare Turf and comes into the race off a nice win in the G1-Flower Bowl at Belmont Park on September 29th. She typically runs well on firm ground and should be in live to improve at Santa Anita.

Ridasiyna (FR) has won four of five career starts including the prestigious G1-Prix de l'Opera at Lonchamp on Arc weekend. She sports a couple of wins over firm ground in France (G3-Prix Chloe & Prix Melisande) and should have any problem with the ten furlong distance (3-2-0-0 in her career).

The Fugue (GB) won the G1-Nassaue Stakes at Goodwood in early August and was second to the classy Shareta (IRE) in the G1-Yorkshire Oaks on August 23rd. She's coming into this race off of a two month layoff and should be fresh and ready for a big race.

Up (IRE) finished fourth in last year's Juvenile Fillies Turf but struggled to win anything of note until she pick up back-to-back group victories at the Curragh in Ireland in late August and early September. Her most recent start was a dull sixth to eventual Arc winner Siyouma (IRE) in the G1-Sun Chariot Stakes and there's a real concern that she's a notch or two below her rivals in his race.

The American contenders are led by Lady of Shamrock and Marketing Mix. Lady of Shamrock, based in Southern California, sports a sparkling 3-3-0-0 record at Santa Anita including a victory in the G3-Providencia at Santa Anita on April 7th. This filly doesn't do a whole lot of running in the early stages and will attempt to make up big chunks of ground in the final quarter of a mile.

Marketing Mix finished fourth as the 3/2 favorite in last year's Filly and Mare Turf at Churchill Downs. She's won three of four races in 2012 including the G1-Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita in her last start.

Zagoa (FR) is a five-time graded stakes winner since coming to America from France in the fall of 2010, but she's struggled at 10 furlongs(5-1-2-1) during the course of her career. However, a couple of her races at a mile and a quarter were in France where the courses are quite testing as compared to the courses in North America. While a mile and a quarter might not be her best distance, Zagora isn't a toss on distance alone.

The Pick

There are so many different ways a player can attack this race that it's enough to make your head spin and you're wallet fatter (if you can cash a ticket).

In terms of sheer class, Ridasiyna stands out following her victory at Longchamp in the Prix de l'Opera and her prior success over firm ground. After that, it's a wide, wide open race.

10-Ridasiyna (FR) (4/1)
8-Nahrain (GB) (6/1)
6-Lady of Shamrock (12/1)

The Field

Post Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Star Billing V. Espinoza J. Shirreffs 30/1
2 Zagora (FR) J. Castellano C. Brown 8/1
3 Stormy Lucy M. Pedroza F. Lucarelli 30/1
4 The Fugue (GB) W. Buick J. Gosden 7/2
5 Nereid J. Leparoux J. Shirreffs 15/1
6 Lady of Shamrock M. Smith J. Sadler 12/1
7 Up (IRE) R. Moore A. O'Brien 12/1
8 Nahrain (GB) F. Dettori R. Varian 6/1
9 Marketing Mix G. Gomez T. Proctor 9/2
10 Ridasiyna (FR) C. Lemaire M. Delzangles 4/1
11 I'm A Dreamer (IRE) R. Hughes D. Simcock 8/1
12 In Lingerie J. Velazquez T. Pletcher 12/1

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