Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint 2019: Prospective field and odds

October 20, 2019 09:19am

A race that figures to get championship action started on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park, the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint looks especially stout in 2019, mainly matching up the 3-year-old Covfefe with older rival Come Dancing going seven furlongs.

Super Screener
 insight: Consider the post position draw here, as the inside gate hasn’t produced a superfecta hitter at Santa Anita. Likewise, expect that the pace setters won’t hold up based upon prior Filly & Mare Sprint editions out west. Click here for more secrets to winning on the Breeders’ Cup.

Below is a look at the prospective field with odds that will not balance given the field isn’t set, but instead reflect the type of price we expect each horse to go off at on race day.

Bellafina, 10-1 [Quality Road — Simon Callaghan — 11: 6-1-1 — $1,216,725]: Unbeaten in stakes races outside of the Breeders’ Cup until the spring, she hasn’t looked the same since coming up well short in the Kentucky Oaks, Test Stakes (G1) and Cotillion Stakes (G1). Does she simply not like to run outside of Callaghan’s California base, or has Bellafina lost a step? A positive here: Her best numbers have been produced going around one turn.

Come Dancing, 5-2 [Malibu Moon — Carlos Martin — 13: 8-2-0 — $1,054,950]: This 5-year-old mare has flown under the radar a bit given some humble beginnings to the season, when she was posting high speed figures in minor events on the New York circuit. But in her five starts in 2019, only Midnight Bisou has defeated Come Dancing, and that was in the Ogden Phipps (G1) going 1 1/16 miles. Shortened up, Come Dancing looked sharp again when taking the Ballerina (G1) and Gallant Bloom (G2).

Covfefe, 2-1 [Into Mischief — Brad Cox — 7: 5-0-1 — $560,025]: The record-setting Miss Preakness (G3) winner has lost only once this season, in the Roxelana at Churchill Downs when going against older. She was on the inside that day and faced serious pressure from Mia Mischief while that one was in top form. Shipped to Saratoga, Covfefe reigned over her 3-year-old peers in the Test (G1), then made it an easy final prep back home in Churchill’s Dogwood Stakes. She carries upside into this event.

Danuska’s My Girl, 20-1 [Shackleford — Jerry Hollendorfer — 17: 6-2-4 — $332,060] Obviously the Breeders’ Cup has upheld Santa Anita’s “house rule” banning Hollendorfer. But the track has also allowed Dan Ward, his assistant, to enter horses and run under his name. Presumably that applies here as well for a mare who’s 3-for-3 this season at Santa Anita but would head into the Breeders’ Cup off a sixth in Keeneland’s Thoroughbred Club of America (G2).

Dawn the Destroyer, 8-1 [Speightstown — Kiaran McLaughlin — 19: 4-4-6 — $466,405]: Since opening the year with a victory in Aqueduct’s Interborough, this Stonestreet homebred has competed in six graded stakes, finishing no better than second but no worse than fourth. In her last, she missed by just a head when rallying behind Spiced Perfection in Keeneland’s TCA.

Guarana, 4-1 [Ghostzapper — Chad Brown — 4: 3-1-0 — $879,400]: The 3-year-old championship remains in play for this filly, who was defeated for the first time in the Cotillion by the rallying Street Band, who’s going in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Guarana figures to enjoy cutting back to one turn, as she posted one of the year’s top performances when winning the Acorn (G1) going a mile on the Belmont Stakes undercard. For those who like betting her, you'll finally get a decent price.

Heavenhasmynikki, 30-1 [Majestic Warrior — Bob Hess Jr. — 15: 8-0-2 — $423,730]: Owner Ron Paolucci has raved about this 4-year-old filly’s condition as of late. She has won three straight, two in her home state of Ohio, but also the Vagrancy (G1) at Belmont Park back on May 11. The Breeders’ Cup will represent her second start off a layoff, which she exited by rolling to Thistledown’s Diana Stakes. Here, Heavenhasmynikki adds speed to the pace scenario.

Lady Ninja, 25-1 [Majesticperfection — Richard Baltas — 22: 8-4-4 — $321,705]: A former claimer still new to the stakes scene, she has always run well at Santa Anita, regardless of the level. This looks like it would be a bit too much, even off a local victory in the Oct. 5 L. A. Woman (G3) by a nose over Selcourt, who was coming off a layoff. Two back, Lady Ninja was third in her stakes debut in Del Mar’s Rancho Bernardo Handicap (G2). That was her only finish out of the exacta in her last six runs.

Selcourt, 20-1 [Tiz Wonderful — John Sadler — 11: 4-4-1 — $383,160]: She came off the layoff to be 12th in last year’s Filly & Mare Sprint. This time around, a start beforehand will do Selcourt good, but she hasn’t been a match for this level of competition in more than a year. The 5-year-old will at least get to run out of her own stall after coming up a nose short after setting the pace in the 6 1/2-furlong L. A. Woman.

Serengeti Empress, 6-1 [Alternation — Tom Amoss — 11: 5-2-0 — $1,282,120]: Amoss is leaning toward the Distaff with his Kentucky Oaks winner who, when right, is tough to handle given speed she can maintain around two turns. Serengeti Empress hasn’t been too bad in sprints, either, finishing only a half-length back of Covfefe after setting fractions and staying on
 in the Test. Guarana had her well beaten in the Acorn, but this filly still managed to be second there, too.

Spiced Perfection, 6-1 [Smiling Tiger — Peter Miller — 18: 8-5-2 — $1,026,905]: The California-bred is on the comeback after a 3-year-old campaign that stretched from April through an upset victory in the Dec. 26 La Brea (G1) at Santa Anita. Since then, shifted to Miller’s care, she won the Madison (G1) at Keeneland, then went on the shelf after fourth in Churchill’s Humana Distaff (G1). Spiced Perfection returned with just enough when shipped back to Keeneland for the TCA and is eligible to improve in the Filly & Mare Sprint.

Also possible: Chalon, Flor de La Mar, Mini to Stardom


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