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Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Picks 2017
Filly & Mare Turf Entries and Odds
In contrast to the early years of the Filly & Mare Turf, when Euro invaders dominated the race, European and North American based horses have split the last 10 versions of the race, with each winning five times. It's interesting to note that while Irish-bred horses usually lead the Euro contingent at the Breeders' Cup, this is one race where English-breds have done better than their shamrock cousins.
The top North American mare going into the race is Lady Eli for trainer Chad Brown. The 2014 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf champion, she was second in this race last year as the favorite, upset by English-bred Queen's Trust. She in fact has never been worse than second in her 13-race career, with 10 victories. She has won her last three in a row, two of those at the Grade 1 level, and has won five Grade 1 stakes overall. She has undoubtably been the top female turf horse in North America in the past couple years and is a deserving favorite here.
Speedy Front Runner Will Try and Steal It
In a race where the favorite has only won 1 of the last 10 runnings, there are several interesting long shots to consider, at least in the exacta and trifecta spots. Avenge was third in this race last year after leading for most of the way, only to be caught late when the race was at Santa Anita and 1/8 of a mile longer. She won her last time out in the (G1) Rodeo Drive at 1 1/4 miles in a very fast time, and with the cut back in distance here she may be very difficult to catch.
Another that draws some interest based on recent results is Cambodia for trainer Tom Proctor. Although she only stepped up to graded-stakes company this year, in her third season of racing, she has won three of her last four, the most recent two on the Del Mar turf course, and the last of those at the Filly & Mare 1 1/8 miles distance. She's one who can come from off the pace with a strong middle move, and she should get some up-front speed to run at here.
The top European threat in the race would appear to come from Rhododendron, a three-year-old Irish bred for trainer Aiden O'Brien. She's been competitive in all the top races for her age group in both Ireland and the UK and last out won a Group 1 event in France, the second Group 1 score of her career. However, there are few factors working against her in that she drew a terrible post for the race, the hard Del Mar turf may not be her best footing, and she'll be making her first North American start.
Others worth considering in the exotics in what is shaping up to be a very tough race are Dacita and Grand Jete, both of whom have been in very good form racing in the top US turf events recently, but both of whom are late runners who may need more distance. Last year's winner, Queen's Trust is in field as well, but she has not since been able to replicate that effort in five starts in 2017, with only a third-place finish to show for those efforts.
The Filly & Mare Turf goes Saturday, November 4 from Del Mar race track in Del Mar, California. It's the fourth Breeders' Cup race on the day, with an expected post time of 5:00 PM Eastern.
- War Flag (20-1)
- Senga (10-1)
- Birdie Gold (50-1)
- Zipessa (25-1)
- Wuheida (8-1)
- Cambodia (20-1)
- Dacita (14-1)
- Grand Jete (12-1)
- Lady Eli (7-4)
- Queen's Trust (6-1)
- Nezwaah (10-1)
- Avenge (16-1)
- Goodyearforroses (40-1)
- Rhododendron (3-1)
Filly & Mare Turf Picks
- #12 - Avenge
- #9 - Lady Eli
- #6 - Cambodia
- #7 - Dacita
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