European invader Dank will hook up with local California heroine Tiz Flirtatious in a spirited edition of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park. English-bred Dank traveled across the Atlantic this summer and outkicked eight foes to take the Beverly D at Arlington Park by 4 1/4 lengths. The daughter of Dansili has won a group II event in Ireland and multiple group III races in England. Starting from the rail, she will be double tough if she can replicate her Arlington turn of foot at Santa Anita.
The 10 furlongs has proven no problem for Tiz Flirtatious, who is by Tiznow’s full brother Tizbud. Tiz Flirtatious won the Rodeo Drive Stakes (gr. IT) Sept. 28 over the Breeders’ Cup layout and distance, running her record to four victories and a second in five races this season. Tiz Flirtatious ran down last year’s Filly & Mare Turf runner-up Marketing Mix to take the Rodeo Drive, turning the tables after Marketing Mix headed her in the Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) last May. Tiz Flirtatious drew the 3 post, inside Marketing Mix, who will start from gate 6. Marketing Mix, after two victories to begin the year, was fourth in the Beverly D. The classy 5-year-old has not been worse than second in three Santa Anita turf runs.
Martin Schwartz, who won this event last year when his Zagora topped Marketing Mix by three-quarters of a length, has another solid contender this season in Alterite. The French-bred 3-year-old came stateside in September and promptly scored in the Garden City Stakes (gr. IT) before a wide trip cost her in the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland, in which she finished second by a neck to Kitten's Dumplings. Alterite drew the 4 hole.
Kitten’s Dumplings, drawn to the outside in the 10-horse field, will try to continue this dream year for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey. The high-strung Kitten's Joy filly has taken four of her last five and loves to fire from off the pace. The Ramseys have won just about everything this year, and have a full contingent of Kitten’s Joys contesting various Breeders’ Cup heats.
Kitten’s Dumplings and all the others will have to run down Laughing to win the Filly & Mare Turf. Laughing has been perfect this year in four starts, with each victory coming by less than a length. So we know she’s a battler. She has defeated quality opponents all year, refusing to relinquish her lead coming down to the wire against the likes of Dayatthespa, Dream Peace, Pianist, and Stephanie’s Kitten. Laughing will provide tempo from the 7 post.
Emollient has already shipped to, and won, in California, taking the American Oaks (gr. IT) in July. She loves Keeneland, where she won the Ashland and Spinster (both gr. I) this year. Richard Mandella, who must always be respected when the World Championships are in California, sends out Vionnet, a close-up third in the Rodeo Drive after setting the tempo into the lane.