Breeders' Cup

Breeders’ Cup Distaff Preview

Stellar Wind - SANTA ANITA OAKS (Grade I) - 04-4-15 - SA - Photo credit: Melanie Martines

Likely Winners

#9 Stellar Wind – Even way back in April I thought she was the most talented horse in the three year old filly crop, but we just haven’t seen enough of her to move her up the ranks in the division.  An absolutely terrible trip in the Kentucky Oaks cost her a chance to win that race, and since then she has returned to win two races in California but neither were against the top horses in the division.  She was also supposed to run in a prep race for this one and didn’t…so you can see there are a few negatives about her.  However, I still think her talent is special, I believe in her breeding, and I have read nothing but great things about her trainer.  At 12-1 in a wide open race I think she’s worth a big time shot.

#7 Wedding Toast – There has been a lot of people down on this horse and I cannot figure out why.  She is easily the best older horse in the country, is three for three at this distance, and is coming into this race in very good form.  I guess the big knock on her is she doesn’t run quite as well outside of Belmont, and was fourth in her only start at Keeneland, but I think it’s dangerous to hold one poor effort against her as she’s won three in a row coming into this race.  Hopefully she ships well…would make her my top pick but not thrilled about going with a favorite in this race.

#1 I’m A Chatterbox – Have loved this horse from day one!  There is no questioning this is the most accomplished three year old filly in the country, and with a little luck she could have had a banner year as a poor trip cost her the Kentucky Oaks and a disqualification costs her the Coaching Club American Oaks.  The draw here may not be the greatest so that is concerning, and I’m still (even though I should be) sold that this is her best distance.  Certainly has a shot to get it done in the end as she’s as honest as they come.

Exotic Plays

#14 Sheer Drama – Like this horse a lot and was going to put her in the “Likely Winners” category until she drew the 14 hole.  Sheer Drama might be a little distance challenged, and the 14 hole is a horrendous post for her.  She’ll have to be much the best to win from way out there, and I don’t think anyone in this field has that kind of ability.  One of the horses hurt worst by the draw.

#10 Yahilwa – Ran well enough over this track last time for me to give her a strong second look.  I don’t think she can win this race, but will most likely be on the lead and have an opportunity to hang around for a minor reward.  She’ll need to hope for a slower pace with her controlling things, which may not be far fetched.  The outside draw isn’t terrible for her either…will most likely be forgotten in the wagering so the price will be right.

#12 Got Lucky – Slow and steady wins the race…that should be the theme for this filly who just keeps getting better.  If the pace is hot up front she will (eventually) get up in time to get the job done.  She’s never going to blow you away with an amazing turn of foot or devastating move…that’s just not her.  However, she will continue to try and grind you down until the wire.  She’ll need pace, but if she gets it she’ll be running late with a shot.

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Party Crashers

#2 Frivolous – You just never know what to expect with her from race to race…that’s what makes her so dangerous.  It’s an all or nothing type of performance with her usually, with her best race being competitive with anyone.  I would feel a lot better if the Breeders Cup was at Churchill Downs because she loves that track so much, but she also likes this distance.  Would not be shocked if she won.

#3 Salama – This could be a HUGE reach, but for her first United States effort I thought she ran pretty well.  It was a second place finish in an allowance, but she was running well at the end and gaining on the winner.  Like I said maybe it’s a reach, but with some improvement I could see ruining a lot of tris and supers.  No question the trainer is capable of having her ready.

Throw Outs

#4 Stopchargingmaria – She’s made quite a career for herself while really only being an average to good type of horse.  However she might be declining slightly, which is not a good sign heading into an evenly matched race like this one.  Pletcher doesn’t have a stellar Breeders’ Cup record, and its hard to see this one going his way.

#5 Calamity Katie – No questioning that she is an improving three year old filly, but probably not rapidly enough to make an impact in a race of this caliber.

#6 My Sweetest Addiction – Ran second to Beholder last time out which was good, but shipping to Kentucky earlier this year did not go well.  Would like her a little better if she were running at home track, but shouldn’t factor into the equation here.

#8 Curlina – “Pletcher Progression Warning Zone.”  Her form is starting to decline, and could take another plunged today.  Didn’t run horrible last time out, but was a non-threatening second to Wedding Toast the whole way around.  Hard to like her in this spot.

#13 Warren’s Veneda – At one time this year people thought this horse could compete with Beholder in California…they were wrong!  That’s not the worst knock you can have on a horse though, but she ended up being a little overrated.  This spot is probably too tough for her.

#15 Peace and War – Has consistently ran good enough to hit the board in smaller races, but hard to imagine she can do the same thing in a race like this.  Looks to be a one paced grinder.

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