BC - Filly & Mare Sprint
October 28, 2013
By Anthony Stabile
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Welcome to Stabile’s 2013 Breeders’ Cup Breakdown, an in depth look into each and every Breeders’ Cup race to be held Friday, November 1st and Saturday, November 2nd at Santa Anita in Arcadia, CA. VegasInsider.com handicapper Anthony “the Big A” Stabile will take a look at the contenders in each event, talk about how the race should set-up and provide some strategies on how to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to betting on the race. If you want to know what Anthony will be betting on both Breeders’ Cup days, make sure to check back on Friday and Saturday to purchase Stabile’s Breeders’ Cup Picks and Plays of the Day, a look at how he’ll wager on each and every race, available EXCLUSIVELY on VegasInsider.com.
Breeders’ Cup Facts and Figures
Distance: 7 furlongs
Age: Fillies and Mares, 3-Year-Olds and Up
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2
Time: 4:21 p.m. EDT
Run at six furlongs in 2007 because Monmouth Park isn’t configured for the intended distance.
Favorites: 1 for 6 (17%)
Shortest: $3.40 (Groupie Doll, 2012)
Highest: $42.40 (Musical Romance, 2011)
The champ is here? Yes, Groupie Doll is back to defend her crown.
Front Runners: Ismene, Sweet Lulu, Teddy’s Promise
Mid-pack: Dance to Bristol, Great Hot, Judy the Beauty, Starship Truffles, Summer Applause
Closers: Book Review, Dance Card, Groupie Doll, Renee’s Titan
Though she has one just once in three starts this year, the defending champ GROUPIE DOLL is back to try and become the first two time winner of this event. Groupie Doll flew home through the stretch to win this by 4 ½ lengths last year, one of only a handful of horses to make up any serious ground over the course of the championship weekend over a course that was very kind to speed and front running types. It was her fifth win from eight tries to that point.
She finished the year with a gallant, tough beat second behind Stay Thirsty in the Cigar Mile against the boys before being put away for the year. A few infirmaries kept her out of the entry box until August, when she finished third going a two turn mile at Ellis Park in the Gardenia.
Groupie Doll returned to the winners’ circle in the Presque Isle Masters, a race she won last year before finishing third in the TCA last out, another event she won handily in 2012. In this years’ running, Groupie Doll was forced to chase the pace early and never kicked in the latter stages for trainer Buff Bradley.
While it appears Groupie Doll has regressed a bit this past year, DANCE TO BRISTOL has certainly come into her own. She finished second in the first start of the year and last out, when she was on the worst part of the race track on the outside as the speedy, undefeated Cluster of Stars gunned from a golden rail to comfortably win the Gallant Bloom.
Sandwiched in between those two loses, however, are seven consecutive win streak that has seen her win at five different tracks going three different distances for trainer Ollie Figgins. She won races like the Bed of Roses, Honorable Miss and the Ballerina, her first G1 score, going this distance, by a head over BOOK REVIEW.
Speaking of Book Review, she’s won or placed in all five starts since being transferred to trainer Bob Baffert’s stable late last season. She made her SoCal debut a winning one over this course going this distance in the La Brea, her first G1 tally, by a neck over a talented field that included multiple stakes winners Reneesgotzip and 2011 two-year-old filly champ My Miss Aurelia.
After finishing second in a pair of stakes going two turns, Book Review won the A Gleam over the Hollywood Cushion track before that narrow defeat in the Ballerina in her most recent start some ten weeks ago.
SWEET LULU is a perfect three for three in sprints and suffered the first loss of her career when finishing second to Distaff contender Close Hatches in the Cotillion going 1 1/16 miles at Parx most recently. Two starts back, Sweet Lulu won her only other start on dirt, the Test, at Saratoga going this trip by a head after alternating on the lead through wicked early fractions for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
After winning the first two starts of her career sprinting, Sweet Lulu won a second level allowance contest going a two turn mile before the Test, so she’s already proven that she can successfully handle a cut back in distance.
DANCE CARD had a tremendous three-year-old season last year, winning four in a row including the Gazelle at Aqueduct on Thanksgiving weekend, before being laid up until last September when she finished third in the Gallant Bloom after brushing the gate at the break and racing wide on the aforementioned inside biased speed track.
GREAT HOT comes into this off of four straight losses, including her last two in sprints. Her lone win in six starts this year came when she stole away to an easy lead against Book Review in the Santa Maria. While second to Teddy’s Promise last out, she’s just one for five at this distance and appears to prefer routes to sprints.
ISMENE won the first three starts of her career, including two over this course and one at the distance, back in 2011 but is winless in her six starts this year after missing all of 2012. She shed blinkers in late April and while she has finished second in three of her last four without them she continues to get run down in the latter stages of her races.
JUDY THE BEAUTY upset Groupie Doll in the TCA last out over the synthetic course at Keeneland, a surface she is perfect in three starts over. In fact Judy the Beauty’s five career wins have come over synthetics and on the turf as she is winless in five starts on dirt, having finished second in each of those starts. Earlier this year she was the runner-up in the Princess Rooney at Calder, arguably her best conventional dirt effort.
RENEE’S TITAN is the only filly to have beaten Distaff contender Beholder this year in what was her only win and board placing this season. Since that upset of the Santa Ynez at 20-1 to begin the year, Renee’s Titan has finished off the board in four straight, beaten a combined 63 lengths in the process on all three surfaces.
Princess Rooney winner STARSHIP TRUFFLES ships in from Calder off of a pair of sub-par efforts in the Ballerina and last out in a minor stakes at Gulfstream. A winner of 14 starts from 26 outings, Starship Truffles was claimed for $6,250 last July and has earned close to $400K since.
SUMMER APPLAUSE will sprint for the first time in nearly two years having raced exclusively around two turns for the past 23 months. She’s kept good company, having run against the likes of F&M Turf runner Emollient, Distaff favorite Royal Delta and G1 winner Tiz Miz Sue but has done her best against the lower tiers of her division. Perhaps the cut back in distance will help.
TEDDY’S PROMISE has won four times since finishing a well beaten eighth in last years’ renewal of this, including wins in the Santa Monica earlier this year and the L.A. Woman last out from just off the pace. Overall, she’s won five of her nine tries over this course and three of eight at the distance. Two starts back she finished second to Book Review in the A Gleam.
If Groupie Doll was the same horse she was last year coming into this, it would be a forgone conclusion but I doubt that’s the case here. Of course, she can win the race but I have to think she’s vulnerable. You have a couple of salty fillies new to the scene this year and it should make for an exciting running of this event. I’d use the champ but think you MUST protect yourself with a few others, especially in the multi-race wagers.
Dance Card had the look of a fine filly in the making last year and could still fulfill that promise, especially if she shows up here. 10-1 or better is a great price on a filly that may very well be the most talented of this bunch.
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