Legatissimo Heads Full Field for the BC Filly & Mare Turf

October 26, 2015 09:45am
Legatissimo Matron 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Twenty pre-entries were taken for the 17th Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, led by 3-time Group 1 winner Legatissamo (7-5). The 3-year-old daughter of Danehill Dancer hails from the David Wachman barn for the powerful Coolmore team of Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith. Legatissamo defeated elders in her last 2 starts and handles all conditions of turf.

Miss France (9/2) has just 2 runner-up finishes in as many starts this year, but appears to be peaking at the right time for legendary trainer, Andre Fabre. Last out in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein (G2) she was caught in the final strides by Impassible.

French import Impassable (9-2) has the impressive record of 4-1-0 in 5 starts this year, but her first preference is to challenge males in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Regardless what race the connections choose, she will be a contender in either race.

Chilean-bred Dacita (8-1) displayed an electrifying turn of foot in her U.S. debut in winning the Ballston Spa (G2) for red-hot trainer Chad Brown. In her home country, Dacita won at 10 furlongs, so she should relish the added distance since her Saratoga triumph.

The 6-year-old mare Stephanie’s Kitten (8-1) is the mother hen of the group, but she definitely has not lost a step. Coming off a win in the Flower Bowl Invitational (G1), the Chad Brown trainee will attempt to capture her second Breeders’ Cup race (2011 Juvenile Filly Turf). While Stephanie’s Kitten is a model of consistency, she has yet to hit the board in 2 tries over the Keeneland turf.

Sharing common ownership (Wertheimer & Frere) with Impassable is 3-year-old filly, Queen’s Jewel (10-1). Undefeated in her first 3 starts, Queen’s Jewel has been a disappointing 9th and 11th in her last 2 starts while going favored against Group 1 competition. Last out in the Prix de l’Opera (G1), she was one paced in lane, while encountering no traffic problems.

Secret Gesture (12-1) was controversially disqualified from a win in the Beverly D (G1) at Arlington Park back in August. Just prior to the race a heavy rainstorm rolled through the area, enhancing her chances. She looks a cut below the best, but must be included in all vertical exotics.

Watsdachances (20-1) was the Beverly D beneficiary, but is a cut below these. Rounding out the tri or superfecta would be best for the 5-year-old mare.

Photo Call (30-1) prevailed in the Rodeo Drive (G1) at Santa Anita last month under a textbook ride by Drayden Van Dyke. Despite saving all ground and encountering no problem, the speed figure still came up light. Top-class trainer, Graham Motion, has been known to pull the occasional Breeders’ Cup upset, see Better Talk Now in the 2004 Turf.

Sentiero Italia (30-1) faces elders for first time in stakes company and needs turn her form around after a disappointing 3rd in the QEII Cup (G1) over this course two weeks ago.

Hard Not To Like (30-1) took the 9-furlong Diana Stakes (G1) two back at Saratoga, but followed that up with a disappointing 8th behind Photo Call. She is a cut below these, and this is not her best distance. Though she’s a closer, her best chance would be go to the front in a field that doesn’t appear to have a lot of early speed signed on.

Sharla Rae (50-1) took the Del Mar Oaks (G1) back in August, but is hopelessly overmatched in this spot.

Also-Eligible in Order of Preference from Breeders’ Cup Committee

Bawina (20-1) comes from the same connections as Impassable, but chased Europe’s top distaffers all season with little success. If she draws in, she must be used in all exotics, but a victory here would be a stretch.

Elektrum (50-1) was a distant runner up behind Photo Call last out. She would be very overmatched should she make it into the starting gate.

Irish Rookie (20-1) is an interesting longshot who has never raced past a mile. She was only beaten 2 lengths by BC Mile contender, Esoterique, last out in the Sun Chariot Stakes (G1) at Newmarket. Though never tested past 8 furlongs, her running style hints that she will appreciate the added distance.

Talmada (20-1) ran second in the EP Taylor (G1) at Woodbine in her North American debut last Sunday. Usually a bridesmaid when facing Group 2 & 3 runners in Europe, would not be shocked if she hit the board.

Stormy Lucy (99-1) has a better chance to win than Rick’s Natural Star did the 1996 Turf, but that isn’t saying much.

Recepta (40-1) has been impressive in her last 2 and owns a victory over the course, but has been pummeled both times she faced Grade 1 competition.

Personal Diary (99-1) would be a surprise if she ran, as she raced Friday at Keeneland.

Mutatis Mutandis (40-1) was 3rd to Stephanie’s Kitten in the Flower Bowl, but not group placed in 3 tries across the pond.  Would be a massive upset if she was able to pull it off.


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Meet Jasen Mangrum

My interest in the Sport of Kings goes back over 25 years with my father taking me with his friends to the old Ak-Sar-Ben Race Course in Omaha, Nebraska. From those early experiences I was able to read the Daily Racing Form before the age of 10. Once The Woodlands opened in Kansas City in 1988, I became totally hooked on the sport studying racing charts after homework and tennis practice.  In recent years, with the explosion of handicapping tournaments, my love for playing the races has risen to a new level. Primarily focused on New York, Chicago and Louisiana racing, I have now been forced to study races far and wide in attempt to find “cap horses” in the tournaments I play.  I have also dabbled in horse ownership within syndicates and on my own.

My fondest memories in racing include Silver Charm’s 1997 Kentucky Derby victory.  Both my father and I selected him, which made for a memorable day.  The best race I’ve seen was Tiznow’s first Breeders Cup Classic win in 2000 when he outdueled Giant’s Causeway down the length of the Churchill Downs stretch. My biggest windfall as a gambler was a pool-scooping Pick 4 win, paying over $6,600 at The Woodlands in 2005.

The point of this blog is to get everyone out there a few winners, but also to go in depth at how I come to the conclusions that I do. I encourage others to post picks they like, too, but please explain how you come to your conclusions. That way everyone can learn a little more about this great game, and add another weapon to their handicapping arsenal. Best of luck.

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