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The Chad Brown-trained Sistercharlie will go for back-to-back victories in the Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf after enjoying a perfect 2019 thus far. In total, 12 females have entered, including six adding an international flavor to the event that will go off as race seven on Saturday, November 2, at Santa Anita Park. The runners will cover 1 1/4 miles for a $2,000,000 purse.
The full field from the rail out includes:
#1 Iridessa – Trainer Joseph O’Brien brings this 3-year-old filly over from Europe after a solid third in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (G1) at Newmarket. Before that effort, she picked up a pair of Group 1 wins this season in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes and the Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes, the latter going this same distance. American females are getting the headlines in this race, but Iridessa should represent the Europeans very well.
#2 Sistercharlie – The champ is back to defend her title after winning last year’s race in dramatic fashion. She brings a six-race winning streak into this year’s event and is a perfect three-for-three this season, with all of her wins coming in Grade 1 events. The Chad Brown trainee seems to be running better than ever.
#3 Fleeting – Trainer Aidan O’Brien will ship this horse to the United States for the second time this season. Her first effort was a disappointing fourth in the Beverly D. Stakes (G1), where she lost to Sistercharlie. She rebounded well since that race, though, nearly winning the Prix de l’Opera Stakes (G1) at Longchamp two starts back.
#4 Billesdon Brook – This filly has gotten hot towards the back half of the season, winning three of her last four starts. Two back, she took down the Theo Fennell Oak Tree Stakes (G3) at Goodwood, then won the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (G1) at Newmarket. She was double-digit odds in each of those victories.
#5 Mirth – Anytime you win a Grade 1 race late in the season, the Breeders’ Cup becomes an option. That’s what happened with Mirth, who won the Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park last time out in wire-to-wire fashion. That was her first career stakes win.
#6 Thais – It’s no secret that this mare is entered as a rabbit for Sistercharlie; they have been in the same races all three times this year. Along with sharing trainer Chad Brown’s care, they are both owned by Peter Brant. Thais set the pace in last year’s Filly and Mare Turf, so expect more of the same from her here. (10/31: SCRATCHED)
#7 Vasilika – The local hero will try her hand at the Breeders’ Cup for the first time this year. She has won an amazing 14 of her last 17 coming into this one. Last time out, she shipped out of her comfort zone to Keeneland and gave a good account of herself, running third in the ultra-tough First Lady Stakes (G1).
#8 Castle Lady – She’ll head to Santa Anita Park for this race after making a solid impression in her United States debut at Keeneland, finishing second in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (G1). The 3-year-old daughter of Shamardal is three-for-five in her career. Her biggest victory to date came in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches Stakes (G1) at Longchamp three back.
#9 Villa Marina – After a strong European campaign, Villa Marina will ship to the United States to try her luck in this race. She has hit the board in seven of eight starts this season, including a victory last time out in the tough Prix de l’Opera Longines Stakes (G1) at Longchamp. She has never finished worse than second in five starts at this distance.
#10 Mrs. Sippy – Since moving to the United States under the care of Graham Motion, this filly has performed well. She picked up a victory in the Glens Falls Stakes (G2) at Saratoga in her American debut before finishing a solid second last time out to Sistercharlie in the Flower Bowl Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
#11 Just Wonderful – This Aidan O’Brien trainee has visited the United States three times during her career, one of which came in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, where she finished fourth. This year, she was able to finish second in the Belmont Oaks (G1), then ran seventh last time out in the First Lady Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
#12 Fanny Logan – After four straight wins in Europe, she’ll ship to the United States to run in her toughest spot yet. All of her victories came in smaller stakes events, including the Darley Pride Stakes (G3) last time out at Newmarket. We’ll see if she can pass this next challenge.
In what is always one of the best races of the Breeders’ Cup, Sistercharlie will put her six-race winning streak on the line against several Europeans who want to take her down. This race should come down to a very close finish at the wire.
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