Females have enjoyed great success in the TVG Mile in the past, a feat that could come from a pair of standouts who are pre-entered this year. The race is scheduled for Saturday, November 2, at Santa Anita Park, and offers a purse of $2,000,000.
Leading the “girl power” charge is the Fourstardave Stakes (G1) winner Got Stormy. She will try to give trainer Mark Casse his third Mile victory; he took home the 2015 version with a filly named Tepin and the 2017 running with the gelding World Approval. Got Stormy got hot this summer, winning the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga before running back on just seven days’ rest to win the Fourstardave. Last time out, she took on the boys once again in the Woodbine Mile Stakes (G1), finishing a close second. She seems to have bounced out of that race well, posting solid workouts at Woodbine and Churchill Downs.
Joining her at the top of the list is Uni, another pre-entered female who has won six of her last seven starts. After dominating her seasonal debut at Belmont Park in the Perfect Sting Stakes, Uni shipped to Saratoga for the Fourstardave to finish third, beaten 2 1/2 lengths in her only loss this season. However, she rebounded in a huge way last time out, shipping to Keeneland and storming home from the rear to win the First Lady Stakes (G1) by 2 1/2 lengths over a stellar field. Each of her last seven starts have come at this 1-mile distance, showing that trainer Chad Brown believes that this is where she is best.
While the females dominate the headlines, it is important to note that last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf champion Line of Duty is also pre-entered into this event. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup win was his third straight triumph, but he has yet to pick up a win since. He has hit the board in three of his five starts this year, all in European Group 1 and 2 races, while facing some of the best turf horses in the world. He has finished third three straight times, including a solid showing in the Qatar Prix Dollar (G2) at Longchamp most recently.
Another overseas pre-entry who should attract plenty of backing will be Lord Glitters, who won the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot this summer. The popular European runner has shipped to North America just once, finishing sixth in last year’s Woodbine Mile. After his Royal Ascot triumph this season, he finished off the board in three straight Group 1 events. Those were some of the toughest fields on the European circuit, though, so this should serve as a class drop. The only question mark is how he will handle the North American racing conditions after his non-effort at Woodbine last year.
The hot horse coming into the race is Bowies Hero, who won Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland last time out. The hard-knocking horse is running better than ever at the age of 5, having also won the Eddie Read Stakes (G2) at Del Mar three race back. Overall, he has won eight of 21 starts while being a major force on the California turf circuit. This will be his second Breeders’ Cup appearance, having competed in the 2016 Juvenile Turf.
It’s important to note that leading Horse of the Year candidate Bricks and Mortar is also pre-entered into the race; however, his first preference is the Longines Turf. He had been pointing to this race for a while, though, so it will still be interesting to see where he actually ends up on entry day. He is thought to control his own fate as far as Horse of the Year goes, with a win more than likely locking down the award.
The other pre-entries include Bolo, Caribou Club, Circus Maximus, El Tromenta, Hay Gaman, Iridessa, Just Wonderful (second preference), Lucullan, Next Shares, Om (second preference), Snapper Sinclair (second preference), Space Traveler, Suedois, Trais Fluors, True Valour, and Without Parole.