Thursday, June 26, 2008

Future Look - BC Ladies Classic

The future look series I'm doing is more or less like the numerous top 10 lists you'll find for the Derby. Except I'm not going to update them on a weekly basis. The idea is just to give you an idea of some of the best horses to follow in the build up to the Breeders' Cup I've already done the Mile, Classic and Turf.

The race formerly known as the Distaff has been a very tough one for me to beat personally. In fact I've never had a Distaff winner in 12 years of handicapping the Breeders' Cup. I usually find myself going for horses like Elloluv, Sharp Cat, Banshee Breeze and Happy Ticket. They performed well but couldn't manage a victory. Despite my lack of single selection winners I'm confident that I can point in the right direction when naming 10 different horses.

Spring Waltz - She is latest model to come out of the impressive Stronach breeding program. After a good but low key start to her career she exploded at Gulfstream earning impressive wins and the highest Beyer Speed Figures in the division. Surface should not be a problem for her and I honestly think that she is as good as anyone if not better. That includes Ginger Punch and Zenyatta.

Zenyatta - Many people will see her as unbeatable in the Ladies Classic even this far from the race. Personally I don't believe that any horse is unbeatable. There is always a condition or circumstance that could result in seeing them defeated. She just hasn't encountered it yet. There is no guarantee that she will encounter it in the Ladies Classic either though. Her huge strides have not yet found a match but perhaps she might be more vulnerable to a slow pace. The horse to beat in the division, no question about that, but don't concede the contest just yet.

Tough Tiz's Sis - I think a lot of people will overlook her no matter how well she does over the summer but the key with her is that the Breeders Cup is at Santa Anita. She is 6-3-3-0 on All Weather tracks and despite the fact that she was handled easily by Zenyatta I think she could still produce an effort good enough to win on the right day. She'll have home court advantage over all the eastern fillies and her speed makes her a key player.

Zaftig - I don't know how good she is but she certainly looks freaky. Her last two races have been unbelievable. There are two big questions about her though, will she handle two turns and is she picky about surfaces? She does not seem to care for Aqueduct much so that's a concern when considering Santa Anita. On raw form though she looks like the best 3yo filly.

Ginger Punch - She is no longer the "now" horse of the division with her failure to beat Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom, but she still has every chance. She was up against it that day while setting the pace. I have always had the feeling that she is really at her best around one turn but she is a top class mare no matter how you look at it and she also has good form on Polytrack.

Hystericalady - Her connections are on record saying that All Weather surfaces are not her best and generally I think her performances lend weight to that. However she is still not far behind the best on any surface. She is a very consistent performer with good tactical speed. I don't think she fully stays 9f but even with the lack of stamina she managed to run second last year.

Proud Spell - She has never really put a foot wrong in her whole career. She is ranked a bit lower because I'm not sure how she'll like it out west. She did not care much for Keeneland. As well as I'm slightly concerned about her preparation. Jones is looking at sweeping the Mother Goose, CCA Oaks and Alabama then likely giving her a break. If he decides to keep her on the bench all the way to the BC then I'd be against her slightly. Hopefully she comes through her summer program well and still gets a fall prep.

Santa Teresita - We have not yet seen the best of this fast improving filly. She only broke her maiden at the end of 2007. In 4 starts this year she has gone 4-2-2-0 with losses coming to Tough Tiz's Sis and Zenyatta. Those aren't easy horses to beat in your first graded stakes. She was not giving up at all in either contest. Expect her to win some nice races this year and maybe just improve enough to handle the big guns.

Unbridled Belle - I really don't know how she'd do in the Ladies Classic but I am convinced that she'll wreak havoc in the build up to it. She has always been a horse who was somewhat picky about racing surfaces. She loves Delaware and is better there than anywhere else. In her debut this year she looked better than she ever has, even in her best races at Delaware. All Weather tracks are a big concern but she has the talent.

Ginger Brew - The Canadian filly has a lot of maturing to do before she could be regarded as Distaff quality but she is also somewhat under developed. She has never been worse than second in 7 starts on Turf, Dirt and Polytrack. Her career Beyer top is 94, which is not huge but consider that at this point in the season horses like Flute, Exogenous, Ashado and Stellar Jayne had not yet shown the necessary speed to beat older mares either. We know that Stronach has had an unbelievable run with fillies. Much like the Phipps enjoyed in the 90's. Most of his fillies like Ginger Punch, Citronnade and Sugar Swirl did not mature this quickly. If Ginger Brew goes on improving she will be extremely tough.


peeptoad said...

Nice list. This is one of the deepest divisions imo. Santa Teresita is supposed to run in the Beverly Hills on turf on Sunday at Holllywood. There is a chance she'll point to the F&M turf, although she ran well enough in her last for the Distaff.

Kennedy said...

I suspect they'll prefer the Distaff because of the distance. In the meantime I suppose they'll go in whatever race that keeps them away from Zenyatta.

peeptoad said...

Actually she's not I expect they may try the Vanity next weekend (even though Zenyatta is going there), unless they wait for Del Mar.

Duvalier said...

Santa Teresita was sold privately to Southern Equine Stable on Wednesday for $1.5 million and has been transferred from David Hofmans to Eric Guillot. She is now being pointed to the $1 million Delaware Handicap on July 13.