2010 Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf Odds, Picks, Analysis Handicapping Churchill Downs
by Kenneth Strong, Professional Horse Racing Handicapper, Predictem.com
Race 8, Churchill Downs, Friday, November 5, 2010
Age: 3-and-up, Fillies & Mares, Distance: 1 3/8-miles, Purse: $2,000,000 Surface: Turf
Midday will be favored to win the 2010 Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf and deservedly so, although shes probably facing better horses than she did when she won this race last year. Shes started four times since winning the 2009 rendition of this race and has lost only once in her first start back after off a six-month layoff. Since then she has won three straight Group 1 races, two in England at 1 and 1 -miles, and the latest in France, the Prix Vermeille at 1 -miles. Shes coming into this years race as good as, or even better than she was last year.
Fellow Filly and Mare Turf entrant Plumani proved herself a worthy adversary for Midday in the the Prix Vermeille, forcing that one to be well-ridden before succumbing by three-quarters of a length to finish second. The problem is Plumania came back to run a dull 17th of 20 in the Prix de lArc de Triompe on October 3. There is good reason to believe this high-class multiple Group 1 winner can bounce back in the Filly and Mare Turf however, based on the quality of her trainer.
Andre Fabre has won four Breeders Cup races including the 1990 Breeders Cup Turf with In the Wings, the 1993 Breeders Cup Classic with crazy 134-1 shot Arcangues, the 2001 Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf in 2001 with Banks Hill and the 2005 Breeders Cup Turf with Shirocco. Fabre was the leading trainer in France for 21 years in a row before being knocked out of the top spot in 2008-2009, but hes back on top again in 2010 and you have to think he wouldnt run this top-class filly unless he thought she had a chance to win. If Midday falters, Plumania can win.
Red Desire shipped in from Japan, where she was a Group 1 winner going 1 14-miles on the turf, to finish third beaten only three-quarters of a length in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl going 1 -miles over yielding turf off a 4 -month layoff. The Past Performances say she had to wait, but in our opinion the only excuse she had that day was the layoff and that is worth noting. Red Desire took the lead in the stretch but she ran out of air very late. She is very likely to improve on the 95 Beyer Speed Figure she earned in the Flower Bowl, but its still difficult to imagine her holding off Midday late, especially is she gets into it with Plumania early in the drive.
Among the American-based contingent the most intriguing pre-entrant is Harmonious, who is conditioned by John Shirreffs, the trainer of Zenyatta. In her last start this 3-year-old filly drew away from a decent field to win the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Keeneland, leaving among others, Evening Jewell in her wake. Harmonious is a Grade 1 winner on the turf going 1 -miles,winning the American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 3, and by the way she finished in her last, she has plenty of upside. She certainly fits in this race and well be using her on our tickets on the chance that she freaks and moves forward slightly more than she should. Also keep in mind that 3-year-old fillies can win this race, as proven by Banks Hill (2001), Ouija Board (2004) and Midday last year.
While we think the result of the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf could be a three or four-horse photo, we just cant see any of the remaining pre-entrants challenging any of the above for the win spot based on the superior fitness and class of the Europeans and the talent of Harmonious. Our top four picks are listed above and well likely be sticking with them. Still, make sure to check back at Predictem.com for our final 2010 Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf picks.
2010 Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf Pre-Entries with Early Morning-Line Odds
Eclair de Lune (6-1)
Red Desire (8-1)
Forever Together (10-1)
Miss Keller (12-1)
Hot Cha Cha (15-1)
Shared Account (20-1)