Speedy Lasses Strap on Rockets for BC F & M Sprint

BC Fillies & Mares Sprint – Grade I

 

In 2007 HRP introduced the BC Fillies & Mares Sprint over a sloppy MTH track. Run that day as a true sprint at 6 furlongs, it seemed fitting that one of the great trainers of all time, Australia Wide, sent out one of the great, versatile mares of all time in Darling Harbour to a driving come from behind win. Already in the twilight of her career, the 7 year old had been here from the early days of racing as was dismissed as too old for a chance, but class showed through that rainy day.

That was the only time the race was run at 6 furlongs, as it was moved to 7 furlongs the next year where it has stayed ever since. That race was run at SA and was won by 30west’s Blonde Dynamite which had finished third in the inaugural run. That win was in the middle of a remarkable 11 race win streak. Winning for her was a habit, finishing her career with 24 of 37. In 2010 legendary Dynark Stables sent Point To Royalty to back to back victories both in the shadows of the twin spires of CD. The next year Mwn Racing offered up Avery Island at SA where she established the stakes record of 1:20.90 which stands to this day. As the years have rolled on, top trainers have returned to the winner’s circle, Mb Stables with Canadas Girl in 2013 and Natural Zone in 2017 and D J C Racing Stables with Distant Cousin in 2015 and Gottahotone in 2018. This year there are chances for others to double up some chance for a triple and plenty of chance to see a new face in the winner’s circle. This year the BC Fillies & Mares Sprint returns to DMR where it was contested in2017. Here are the entries:

 

Mb StablesPrecise Performance was much more the router most of her life, until just this June in fact, she was the winner of last year’s BC Distaff at 1 1/8 miles. She wasn’t doing all that badly at routes the first half of this year with a couple of placings in graded stakes, but it seems her connections felt a BC winner should be performing in grade one stakes, placed her in shorter and were promptly rewarded with wins in the Grade Two Honorable Miss Handicap and the Grade One Ballerina at SAR in very fast 7 furlongs time. It should be noted this horse has never lost at 7 furlongs, which is questionable when rated as a sprint. I think this is the race favourite at any odds.

 

The Sidley Stud sends out the two and three horse in Silver Jazzmin and Lady Sammyantha. The older of the two, Silver Jazzmin is also the less accomplished, not that you wouldn’t want a horse of her caliber in you stable. She has been placing well in graded company this year, but will be well challenged at this level. She comes off three straight in the money placing in Grade Three contests and won SA’s Desert Stormer in May at 6 furlongs. She’ll need to dig deep with this company.

 

Lady Sammyantha comes off a 7 furlong victory in the Grade Two Raven Run at KEE, which makes a nice prep for this test. However, prior to that she has tried a couple of Grade Ones which pointed out her weakness at this level of racing. Since May she has won two other 7 furlong stakes events showing her fondness for this distance. Throw in a 1 1/16 mile stakes win, and it tends to add proof that 7 furlong races are more routes than sprints. Again, this one will need to find a higher level.

 

The first of Smokey Stover’s three entries, Grazin At Sunrise arrives on a string of four straight victories at various levels, the latest being the Grade Two TC of America at 6 furlongs at KEE. Up until this string started in June, she had been struggling to find the winner’s circle, placing a bit in graded events. She has shown a fondness for 6 ½ and 7 furlong runs, but definitely needs to prove herself at this level.

 

Night Rider Stables’ lightly raced young Slckmoment Laga seems definitely a sprinter, although she did hang on to third in the 1 1/16 mile Grade One Cotillion Stakes last, as she won the Grade One Test and was a fast closing third in the Grade One Ballerina, both at 7 furlongs. Nearly half of her races have been routes and she has done well, winning a couple of graded races, but that was during Oaks season, and as we approach the BC she is showing herself to be a top flight sprinter and one of the top threats in this race.

 

Only nine races in her career and not a single graded win to speak of, Fractious’ ex-claimer Grayte Catch will find it tough going with this bunch. Her most recent race was her best and a sharp way to come into a BC race, a nose miss in the Grade Two Bloom Handicap at ½ furlongs at BEL. Her new connections purchased her with obvious intentions of heading to the BC based on her runner-up performance in the Ballade Stakes at WO. They should be pleased with her determined performance thus far and hopeful for further improvement here.

 

This time last year, you could buy Dancinginflorida for $16.000 and Night Rider Stables did. Wasting no time, he made his intentions clear and set her off on a year-long course of 7 furlong stakes races, of which she won but one, but placed in most others and finds herself here. Now, maybe that means she picks up a minor check, but not bad for a $16.000 investment.

 

As impressive a career as you’d like, Smokey Stover’s next entry is KY Oaks winner Tenrikyo. Second in 2019 BC Distaff, then fourth last year, she has  won at distances from 6 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, and recently two 7 furlong graded stakes races, including the Grade One Vinery Madison. She prepped for this race with a win in the Grade Two Bloom Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs at BEL in sharp time. Put this old gal at the wire with the best of them.

 

The second of the three Mb Stables sends out is something he needs to have three entered. He does this all the time, and half the time the horse wins. This one is Christina G which finished in the money in two of her last the graded starts and picked up a check in the Grade One Ballerina in between. She’s won three graded races in her days but will really have to work to be involved with these.

 

The last of Smokey Stover’s brood is a lightly raced youngster which has been burning up the tracks, usually at longer routes. Top Billing has never races shorter than 7 furlongs, and then only three times, so I’d classify her a router, but I’d also rate her one of the favourites in this sprint race. She’s never been worse than second at 7 furlongs, but that’s not saying much since she’s never been out of the money, but once and first or second 9 of 11 starts. She comes off a win in the 1 1/6 mile Grade Three Locust Grove at CD; and the race before was the Grade One Ballerina at 7 furlongs where she registered a 100 SRF while the public wasn’t buying her as a sprinter and sent her off at 12-1. I think long odds today would be unwise because she has shown she doesn’t particularly care what the distance is.

 

Copper Mama is having a rough second half of the year. In May, she won the Grade Three Distaff Handicap at 7 furlongs at AQU and followed it with a victory in the 7 furlong Grade One Derby City Distaff at CD. John Henry liked what he saw so much he bought her for $500.000, and the bottom fell out. Since then she has race four times and ran up the track each time. Now all her connections can hope for is a trained return to that form of May by Saturday.

 

After running second in the 7 furlong Grade One Test, TwinTowersRacing sent Notorious Return to the Grade Three CT Oaks at 7 furlongs and picked up a sharp win. In prep for this race, she went to the very demanding Grade One Cotillion Stakes where she ran second. Her career has been primarily two turns and she might be a bit inexperienced, but look at those two 7 furlong runs and know you’d best not count her out crappy post and all.

 

Fractious really wanted a horse in this race, and I guess he had an extra $1,250.000 laying around, and what do you know?!? Grand Cyclone! It would be hard to say that this horse with total earning of around $850.000 and no Grade One wins would get that price, but like I said at the start…..And there’s that win at GP: she won the Grade Two Princess Rooney over 7 furlongs with a 100 SRF. This following a 99 SRF and a 98 SRF at 7 furlong two races before. The five races leading up to this race speak well of the horse’s chances. They may not speak well of the investment, but perhaps they speak well of the gamble.

 

Not A Big Deal probably wouldn’t be here either were she not needed to fill out Mb Stables’ trio. She started her life with a second then string of five wins, two of them Grade One, but the BC Juvenile Fillies buggered her, and she’s not been the same since. That’s not to say she’s terrible or anything. In fact, she’s quite nice. A race back she scored a victory in the Grade Two Prioress at 6 furlongs at SAR, and there were a couple of other graded wins, but there were an awful lot up the track. She’ll need a lot of help and heart, especially from 14.

 

Summary: At least half this field have the quality to take home the cup. I am going to go with a soft longshot in Smokey Stover’s Top Billing. I think this lass is actually a router, but then I think that 7 furlongs is actually a route, and she has been nearly unstoppable at the distance. I think Mb Stables’ Precise Performance has everything going her way here, and if I’m wrong about her being the favourite, well I’m an idiot. I’m also very fond of three others in no particular order: Slckmoment Laga, Tenrikyo and Grazin At Sunrise.



Categories: BC 2021, Grade I, Races, STAKES ARTICLES, THE BREEDERS CUP

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