Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Picks 2017
Filly & Mare Sprint Entries and Odds
As in the past couple of years, it's likely that several horses will be leaving the gate at odds somewhere in the 5-1 to 10-1 range for the Filly & Mare Sprint, and several of those look to be in with a reasonable shot to hit the board, if not win outright.
The early consensus on the field gives the nod to Unique Bella for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, projected to be one of the best bets on the day. A three-year-old Pennsylvania filly, she has done little wrong in her career, rolling off five straight victories since running second in her career debut, the first of those wins coming over the Del Mar dirt. All four of her wins since then have come in Grade 2 or Grade 3 stakes company at Santa Anita, the most recent of those by 3 1/2 lengths after a four month layoff.
A legitimate question could be asked about the level of competition she has been facing. Although she beat Abel Tasman and Champagne Room, both of whom are expected to line up for the BC Distaff, those wins came early in the season when both of those were still rounding into form. She missed out on going head-to-head with the best fillies her age during the summer racing season, and the Filly & Mare Spint will be her first time taking on older mares. There's no question as to her talent, however, and she could win this going away.
Speedy Mare Taking a Second Shot at the Title
Third in this race last year, Paulassilverlining is a five-year-old veteran whose sire and grandsire are both Breeders' Cup Classic winners. Her trail to the 2016 Breeders' Cup included a second-place finish in the (G2) Honorable Miss Handicap, a fifth-place finish in the (G1) Ballerina Stakes, a win in the (G2) Gallant Bloom Handicap, and then the Breeders' Cup.
This year her preps include a win in the Honorable Miss and, once again, a fifth-place finish in the Ballerina. She skipped the Gallant Bloom to train right into the BC, and although there's always some concern over form when a horse comes into the Breeders' Cup following an off-the-board finish in their previous start, last year's pattern suggests she may be ready to bounce back.
Finishing right behind her in the Honorable Miss was Finley'sluckycharm, who does come into the Breeders' Cup in great form, with three wins and a second in her last four races, all at the graded-stakes level, and who has been first or second in 11 of her 12 lifetime starts with eight total wins. Although she prefers to be on the lead, last out she was able to overcome a bump at the break to come from off the pace, and that kind of versatility should serve her well in a race that could see a contested pace out of the gate.
Going deeper into the field, Highway Star has been knocking heads with the best female sprinters on the East coast recently and has had good results, winning three of her last five, and finishing second and third in two recent Grade 1 tries. While she lacks the overall speed of the top ones here, she's a tough and competitive filly who could very well grab a minor share of the prize.
Also in the mix, Skye Diamonds is a California bred who has spent most of her early career running at the lower levels, but recently captured two consecutive graded stakes, the last of those in the (G3) Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar. Although taking a step up in class to tangle with these, even a small move forward makes her a legitimate threat in the exotics.
The Filly & Mare Sprint goes Saturday, November 4 from Del Mar race track in Del Mar, California. It's the third of nine races on Day 2, with an expected post time of 4:14 PM Eastern.
- Carina Mia (10-1)
- Paulassilverlining (11-1)
- Curlin's Approval (12-1)
- Finest City (8-1)
- Bar Of Gold (33-1)
- Proper Descretion (50-1)
- By The Moon (12-1)
- Constellation (16-1)
- Finley'sluckycharm (10-1)
- Highway Star (12-1)
- Unique Bella (6-4)
- Skye Diamonds (7-1)
- Princess Karen (33-1)
- Amis Mesa (16-1)
Filly & Mare Sprint Picks
- #11 - Unique Bella
- #9 - Finley'sluckycharm
- #2 - Paulassilverlining
- #10 - Highway Star
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