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Breeders’ Cup F&M Turf: Close race in prospect?
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2009-11-06 02:49:24 (First published: 2009-10-13 07:40:42 )

Santa Anita Friday

The Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) drew a cometitive field of eight, with last year’s winner Forever Together the most likely favorite - pressed by Yellow Ribbon (G1) winner Magical Fantasy and the English Group One winner Midday.


Santa Anita 6 November 2009 – 1 ¼ miles Turf

Purse: $3 million

Contenders presented with best Globeform ratings,
sires, trainers, GF ratings last four runs (l-to-r), jockeys

119 – FOREVER TOGETHER (Belong to Me) / J Sheppard / 118p - 118 – 119 – 119p - 114p / J Leparoux
117 – MAGICAL FANTASY (Diesis) / P Gallagher / 112p - 117 – 116p – 116p / A Solis
117 – PURE CLAN (Pure Prize) / R Holthus / 115 – 117 – 111p – 117 / G Gomez
116 – MIDDAY (Oasis Dream) / H Cecil / 116 – 109 – 115p – 112 / T Queally
115 – DYNAFORCE (Dynaformer) / B Mott / 106p – 109 – 115 - 0 / K Desormeaux
115 – VISIT (Oasis Dream) / R Frankel / 110 – 110p – 108 – 115 / J Velazquez
114 – RUTHERIENNE (Pulpit) / C Clement / 114 – 113 – 113 – 110p / A Garcia
112 – MARAM (Sahm) / C Brown / 112p in 2008 / 106p – 108p / J Lezcano


, such an impressive winner of this event last year, has maintained that level of form and must have a great chance of winning the Filly & Mare back-to-back. Proven over the course and distance, the daughter of Belong to Me is coming off a string of rock solid performances. She is the logical choice. True, she ran below her best last time out, but that was when trying to close into a moderate pace over a mile on soft ground at Keeneland, and she performed much better than it looks on paper. Checking in third, 1 ½ lengths behind the high-class winner Diamondrella (runs in Turf Sprint), was not at all a bad effort. Prior to that, Forever Together had failed by just a nose in her attempt at giving Princess Haya 11lb in the Canadian (G2) at Woodbine. The latter came back to run a respectable third in the E P Taylor Stakes (G1) and, believe it or not, Forever Together reproduced her previous best rating when second to Princess Haya. Wins in the Jenny Wiley (G2) at Keeneland in April and Diana Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in August sandwitched a second place finish to Diamondrella in the Just A Game (G1) at Belmont Park in June. Forever Together got up to beat Carribean Sunset by a head at Saratoga (Rutherienne third), to take the prestigious Diana back-to-back.

A model of consistency, she takes the highest Globeform rating into the battle, she has a world class rider on her back and an equally solid team in her corner of her ring. In short; there is simply no reason to bet against Forever Together on Friday.

MAGICAL FANTASY is not far behind on ratings, only about a length inferior to Forever Together, and this is the course specialist. She has two wins from two runs at Santa Anita, and her three runs over this distance have resulted in two wins. Not a bad record, particularly when you are competing at the highest level almost every time you race. Magical Fantasy won the Yellow Ribbon Stakes (G1) over the F&M trip last time out, getting up to beat Visit by half a length. She had a bit in hand, and it was a solid prep indeed. It came off a layoff since her success in the John Mabee (G1) over 9 furlongs at Del Mar in August, when Magical Fantasy defeated the subsequent stakes winner Gotta Have Her (Turf Sprint bound) by a measured length while conceding 4lb. So, with narrow but very game wins in the Santa Barbara (G2) here at Santa Anita in April and the Gamely Stakes (G1) at Hollywood Park in May, Magical Fantasy goes into the Filly & Mare Turf off four straight wins. She has improved this year, and looks sure to take a hand at the finish. Pat Gallagher’s contender has been in the top three in 16 of her 19 career starts. Wanna’ have her on your Trifecta ticket? Thought so…

PURE CLAN produced her career best when taking the Flower Bowl Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park a month ago. Finishing really gamely from just off the pace, she ran out a comfortable 2 ¾-length from Criticsm, who gave the form a nice boost by winning the Long Island Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct last Sunday. Pure Clan is a filly that has been threatening to run a huge race for some time, and she seems to be priogressing. She was last in the F&M last year, but is much better these days and should not be written off. This is her optimum trip, she comes here at the top of her game, and further improvement is not at all unlikely. If that happens, Pure Clan holds a great chance.

DYNAFORCE, who had Pure Clan two places behind when winning the Beverly D Stakes (G1) at Arlington in August, is in the same class but more exposed. The distance may also be an issue with her. She won the Flower Bowl (G1) over 1 ¼ miles at Belmont last year, but that was by getting away with a soft lead on yielding ground. Dynaforce’s best form has otherwise come over shorter.

MIDDAY is very popular in the English betting markets and – at first glance – that may make some sense, but her form has been overrrated in many a column. She was beaten just a head by Sariska (who had yet to peak) in the Oaks Stakes (G1) at Epsom Downs in June, and that still ranks as her best performancem despite a 2 ¼-length win over Rainbow View in the Nassau Stakes (G1) at Goodwood in August. Both these races were run on soft ground (officially Epsom was ‘good’ on Oaks day but there was definitely some give in the turf) and Midday – small as she is – thrives under such conditions. Ten furlongs on firm ground at Santa Anita will be altogether different. She cannot be dismissed of course but at the current prices Midday is poor value.

One point regarding Group One races for fillies and mares in Europe: A number of such events were upgraded a few years ago, in an attempt at keeping fillies and mares in training, and G1 events for the females are not as tough to win as they used to be – since there are too many of them.




WIN: 2 Forever Together

EXACTA BOX: 2 and 4 (reversed)


A: 2 with 4 with 5, 6, 7 (3)
B: 2 with 4 with 1, 3, 8 (3)
C: 2 with 5, 6, 7 with 4 (3)


A: 2, 4 with 2, 4 with 5, 6, 7 with 5, 6, 7 (12)
B: 2, 4 with 2, 4 with 5, 6, 7 with 1, 3, 8 (18)


1 – FOREVER TOGETHER (Belong to Me) J Sheppard / J Leparoux - Globeform 119p

2 – Sealy Hill - GF 117
3 – Wait a While - GF 116

Won by ¾ length, head

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