It’s Ladies’ Day and once again the Breeders’ Cup promises to have a powerful feminine presence with the likes of Goldikova, Havre de Grace, Sarafina, and Midday as favorites or near favorites in some of the biggest races at the Cup. Between the four of them, they represent the frontrunner for the Horse of the Year award, already have four wins, a second, and a third in the Breeders’ Cup, and that’s not even including the overseas exploits of the top turf filly in France. Problem is, none of the fearsome foursome will be running today - on Ladies’ Day.
Or maybe it’s no problem at all. If the female revolution that has dominated the sport of late has taught us one thing, it’s that the girls cannot be discounted in any of the biggest races of the world. So while dozens of fillies will compete today in races restricted to the ladies, it is tomorrow that the best female runners in the world will take the ultimate test and run against the best of our males.
We all know the story of Goldikova. Three times she has come to America and kicked up her heels against some of the best male milers on the planet. It cannot be overstated the magnitude of accomplishment, if at age six she is able to win her fourth consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile. She is the one to beat.
Havre de Grace has been the best horse this year in America, bar none. A case could be made that she is truly the only horse in the country to have not run a bad race while running against graded stakes horses the entire year. The Classic will be her toughest test yet to date, but she certainly has a legitimate chance to clinch a Horse of the Year title tomorrow.
The BC Turf is a race generally dominated by the males, but with the two-prong challenge of Sarafina and Midday, the Turf could prove prime picking for another female headline. Both fine European distaffers are quite experienced in not only taking on the best turf males in the world, but they have often proved best.
Today may be called Ladies’ Day at the Breeders’ Cup, but depending on what happens tomorrow, Friday may be a mere blip to the female fireworks set to go off at Breeders’ Cup 2011.