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BC Filly & Mare Sprint: Ventura can win back-to-back
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2009-11-06 02:44:09 (First published: 2009-10-20 07:36:28 )

Santa Anita

Having landed this event in impressive style last year, Ventura now comes off a solid success in the Woodbine Mile (G1) in Canada, and she must have a great chance of repeating in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).

The ultra consistent Informed Decision is likely to be her toughest rivals, though Godolphin’s duo Sara Louise and Seventh Street are also capable of a big run, as is Todd Pletcher’s candidate Game Face.


Santa Anita 6 November 2009 – 7 furlongs Pro-Ride

Purse: $2 million

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

124 – VENTURA (Chester House) / R Frankel / 122 – 117 – 119 – 120p / G Gomez
121 – INFORMED DECISION (Monarchos) / J Sheppard / ?p – 110 – 119 – 121 / J Leparoux
117 – GAME FACE (Menifee) / T Pletcher / 0 – 117 – 115 – 107 / E Prado
116 – SEVENTH STREET (Street Cry) / S bin Suroor / 116 – 110 – 116 – 116 / R Maragh
115 – SARA LOUISE (Malibu Moon) / S bin Suroor / 110p – 115p / L Dettori
112 – EVITA ARGENTINA (Candy Ride) / J Sadler / 108 – 100 – 112 – 97 / J Rosario
108 – SILVER SWALLOW (Alphabet Soup) / B Headley / 0 - ?p – 104 – 108 / A Solis
106 – FREE FLYING SOUL (Quiet American) / B Headley / ? - ? – 106p / M Smith
105 – ONLY GREEN (Green Desert) / F Head / 0 – 0 - 0 – 106 / O Peslier


A small field
assembles for the Filly & Mare Sprint, and this makes for more of a level playing field than what is often the case in main track sprints in North America. Post-positions will not have such an impact on the shape of this event.

VENTURA will go off as a pretty short priced favorite, as she attempts to win the Filly & Mare Sprint for a second time, and she is hard to oppose, especially following her impressive win in the Woodbine Mile (G1) in Canada just under seven weeks ago. On that piece of form, the Juddmonte mare would hold a winning chance against the boys in the Mile, but trainer Bobby Frankel feels that she is not quite robust enough to run in a big field around the turf course – so back to the 7-furlong sprint against her own sex she goes. Ventura produced a stunning performance here twelve months ago. Having been right at the back early on, she simply exploded in the straight and smashed as good a sprinter as Indian Blessing by 4 lengths. The distance, and probably also the surface, was in Ventura’s favor but still… it was some run. If she reproduces that form, she wins again. Her success in Canada was also well worth watching. Ventura was confidently ridden by Garrett Gomez, who waited and waited before unleashing her early in the straight. She swept past her nine rivals to beat Ferneley by a length, with Sterwins third.

INFORMED DECISION is the obvious danger, as she is also a top class sprinter, is also tremendously game and consistent, and as she has such a good record over artificial tracks. She beat Ventura by a head when they clashed over this distance in the Madison (G1) at Keeneland in early-April. Ventura was conceding 2lb though, and they meet at level weigths this time. Ventura was laid off after the Madison, while Informed Decision has been kept on the go and raced three times since. Her best piece of form came last time out, when the gray daughter of Monarchos overcame what seemed an impossible position to beat the previous G1 winner Carlsbad by almost a length in the 6-furlong Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. She is better over 7 furlongs and, with Ventura likely to take so much of the action at the windows, Informed Decision will probably be the value bet here. Victor Chandler bookmakers have her at 100/30, and that is way too big. An each-way bet at this price is a ‘bet to nothing’ as Informed Decision is sure to be in the first three.

GAME FACE sits in third on the ratings ladder and she is also our third choice. The form she showed when taking the Princess Rooney Handicap (G1) by almost seven langths from Keep the Peace at Calder back in July was her career best, and – like this race – it came after a break. Game Face ran another fine race to deny Keep the Peace once more in the Honorable Miss (G2) at Saratoga in August. These runs both came on dirt, and her below par effort when fourth to Informed Decision in the Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (G3) may not augur too well for a crack at a B Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on Pro-Ride, but it was Game Face’s first start over an artificial surface and she can do better this time.

Godolphin’s two runners, the Apple Blossom / Go for Wand winner SEVENTH STREET (who has never been off the board in nine starts) and the lightly raced SARA LOUISE (a dual Grade 3 winner) are both also capable of getting into the first three. Though seven panels may be on the sharp side for Seventh Street. After all, her best form has come over 8.5 and 9 furlongs on dirt. These two will both be making their first start on an artificial track on Friday.




WIN: 9 Ventura

EXACTA BOX: 7 and 9 (reversed)


A: 9 with 7 with 3 (1)
B: 7 with 9 with 3 (1)
C: 9 with 7 with 2, 6, 8 (3)
D: 7 with 9 with 2, 6, 8 (3)


A: 9 with 7 with 3 with 2, 6, 8 (3)
B: 9 with 7 with 2, 6, 8 with 3 (3)
C: 7 with 9 with 3 with 2, 6, 8 (3)
D: 7 with 9 with 2, 6, 8 with 3 (3)


1 – VENTURA (Chester House) R Frankel / G Gomez - Globeform 124

2 – Indian Blessing - GF 114
3 – Zaftig - GF 113p

Won by 4 lengths, 2 lengths

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