The 2006 Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) is shaping up to be an exciting event. The 1 3/8-mile race is expected to pit the older, globe-trotting, European superstar Ouija Board against up-and-coming 3-year-old sensation Wait a While, who has won stakes on both dirt and turf this season.
It was at dinner 225 years ago, at his home "The Oaks" near Epsom, England, that the 12th Earl of Derby proposed a race for 3-year-old colts to complement the race run that afternoon for 3-year-old fillies named for his residence, that he had won with a filly named Bridget. It might have been fairer to let his friend and dinner companion, Sir Charles Bunbury, give title to the new race. Instead they flipped a coin and Derby won. Otherwise, it would be the Kentucky Bunbury contested every May at Churchill Downs.
They say Lone Star Park's dirt and grass surfaces are identical to those at Santa Anita Park, which may account for this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships drawing the identical number of pre-entered horses as last year, when the event was held at the Arcadia, Calif., racetrack.
Last year's winning trainer brings three gals to this year's dance.
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