Rachel Alexandra isn’t coming and Zenyatta is leaning to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). However, anyone who believes that doesn’t leave much for the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) needs to think again.
Three-year-old Careless Jewel brings a nearly perfect record into her first encounter with older females. She’s won stakes at Delaware Park, Saratoga, and Philadelphia Park. Now the Josie Carroll trainee is bedded down in Bob Baffert’s barn ready to tackle Santa Anita. Careless Jewel has impressed so well and so often—particularly her 11-length Alabama Stakes (gr. I) triumph—that she could go favored over her older and more experienced rivals.
The Ladies’ Classic, along with the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT), sport the shortest fields with nine pre-entries each. If Zenyatta runs in the Classic, where she has first preference, the other two cross-entered horses—Lethal Heat
and Rainbow View
—will probably remain in the Ladies’ Classic. Though Lethal Heat has first preference in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT), trainer Barry Abrams has said that he will point Lethal Heat for the Ladies’ Classic if Zenyatta passes.
Rainbow View has second preference in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT). The European-based 3-year-old in her first North American start finished second in the Oct. 17 E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT) at Woodbine. Even though she has never started on a synthetic surface, don’t count Rainbow View out. Her trainer, John Gosden, won two Breeders’ Cup races last year and knows Santa Anita well, having trained on the West Coast for several years.
Another stable with a strong European presence, Godolphin Racing, has two in the Ladies’ Classic, though they are both based in this country. Cocoa Beach
and Music Note
finished second and third, respectively, to Zenyatta in last year’s Ladies’ Classic. Music Note could vie for favoritism with Careless Jewel based on her victories in the Beldame (gr. I) and Ballerina (gr. I).
Life Is Sweet
has also been trailing Zenyatta, on the racetrack and as the top distaffer in trainer John Shirreffs’ barn. The 4-year-old filly loves Santa Anita, however, having won the Santa Margarita Handicap (gr. I), La Canada (gr. II), and El Encino (gr. II) there this past winter.
met recently in the Oct. 11 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I), finishing one-two. Proviso, in her first U.S. start, was disqualified to second, giving winner Mushka the automatic berth in the Ladies’ Classic.
$2 Million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I, 6:45 p.m.), fillies and mares, 3 and up, 1 1/8 Miles (Pro-Ride)
Horse, Owner, Trainer
Careless Jewel, Donver Stable, Josie Carroll
Cocoa Beach (Chi), Godolphin Racing LLC, Saeed bin Suroor
Lethal Heat, Madeline Auerbach, Barry Abrams, and Ron McCauley, Barry Abrams
Life Is Sweet, Pam and Martin J. Wygod, John A. Shirreffs
Mushka, Brushwood Stable, William I. Mott
Music Note, Godolphin Racing LLC, Saeed bin Suroor
Proviso (GB), Juddmonte Farms Inc., Robert J. Frankel
Rainbow View, Augustin Stables, John H.M. Gosden
Zenyatta, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S. Moss, John A. Shirreffs