Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Storylines

October 10, 2015 02:13pm
Fioretti TCA 615 X 400
Photo: Keeneland Photo

Looking for a good story? Then, look no further than the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. This year’s race is packed with some good narratives, but only one will have a fairy tale ending. Here are a few of the storylines guaranteed to make this race a blockbuster event!

1. The Feel Good Underdog

With the supporting cast of a young trainer and young jockey, how many people had Fioretti picked to win the Thoroughbred Club of America last week? Her win, at odds of 17-to-1, was a first for the entire team. Trainer Anthony J. Hamilton Jr. and jockey Sophie Doyle both notched their first graded stakes win. I could stop right here and the story would have plenty to feel good about, but it doesn’t stop there.

Fioretti may have had some help from above last week. Hamilton’s father, longtime trainer and owner Joe Hamilton, passed away suddenly in January. A few months later, Fioretti would ease some of the grief by giving the team its’ first stakes win in the Roxelana at Churchill. Joe Hamilton never owned or trained a stakes winner, so it is certainly something special to see his son achieve that feat so early in his career. Just imagine the celebration if this team can score another victory in three weeks!


2. The Elusive Victory

For more than two decades, trainer Mark A. Hennig has been one of the best in the country. However, he is still searching for that first taste of victory in the Breeders’ Cup. He is currently 0-for-12 in Breeders’ Cup events with a career best finish of sixth (2000-Raging Fever). With almost 1300 wins, including too many graded stakes races to even count, his barn has been home to stars like Eddington, Star of Cozzene and Mystic Lady. Can Merry Meadow finally be the one to give Hennig a victory on one of racing’s biggest stages? She punched her ticket to the race earlier this year at Gulfstream and looks to bounce back after a rocky summer. Who knows, maybe the number thirteen will prove to be lucky this Halloween!

3. The Rematch

Stonetastic and Leigh Court have revenge on their mind this year. Their target is Judy the Beauty, who romped past them both in the stretch to win this race a year ago. Stonetastic set a blistering pace but could not hang on late, while Leigh Court ran a little wide throughout. These leading ladies are the only returners to year’s race, but they all have question marks heading into the race. Combined, they only have one win since last year’s race, a victory by Stonetastic in an Allowance Optional Claimer. These ladies will need to step up their game if they are going to be able to compete against the influx of newcomers.


4. The Quest for Perfection

La Verdad has looked unstoppable all year. She is 5-for-5 and looks to complete a perfect season with a win in the Breeders’ Cup F&M Sprint. She has dominated in all of her races, leading at just about every pole. Along the way, she defeated the reigning champ of the division, Judy the Beauty, gladiator-style. The Breeders’ Cup is infamous for breaking streaks, so the challenge will be a big one. With a win in the Breeders’ Cup, La Verdad would join an elite class of female sprinters and complete one of the best campaigns in recent years. 


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Meet Jason Wood

I was born with an endless love for horses and racing. My dad owned several horses, so my favorite memories are either at the track or in the barn. I always tell my friends that I could read a racing program before I knew the alphabet! The Illinois racing circuit was home for many years. The majestic weeping willows along the backstretch of Arlington soon gave way to the warm winter nights under the lights at Sam Houston. I spent some time in Maryland and now find myself back at Sam Houston Race Park! Just like a stakes winner, I seem to always be shipping somewhere new!

My dad has passed on to the big track in the sky, but this sport allows me to carry a piece of him with me every time I walk around the track. I feel like I am a winner every time I get to be a part of racing, even if my pick doesn’t leave the starting gate!

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