10/28/2004 12:00AM

BC Filly and Mare Turf Analysis


Longshot European YESTERDAY makes her third start after illness postponed her campaign until fall. The top-class stayer enters with an improving pattern, she handles the distance and any type ground, and will start at a generous price. Third start back, she can spring an upset on a day for upsets. WONDER AGAIN dominated twice in summer on courses other than firm, and may get similar conditions. This 11-furlong distance poses a challenge, but blowout wins in New York were too good to ignore. Following a subpar prep, she may be overlooked in the betting. OUIJA BOARD is favored off a troubled third vs. males in the Arc, but she does not care for wet, and her odds are low. Moscow Burning and Light Jig will not be too far away.


OUIJA BOARD won the English Oaks and the Irish Oaks, then finished a contending third vs. males in the Arc de Triomphe. If she runs her race, she wins. AUBONNE suffered through traffic trouble but was only 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner in the Flower Bowl. Double-digit odds will provide betting value for a backup win bet and in the exotics. FILM MAKER was hindered by the slow pace, but made good late progress to finish fourth in the Flower Bowl. Riskaverse figures right there from just off the pace and should be included in the gimmicks. Light Jig looked good winning the Yellow Ribbon and will contend at ordinary odds. Megahertz disappointed last time, but would be a factor with a rebound.


Prospects of less-than-firm turf prompted the connections of OUIJA BOARD to opt for this race instead of more ambitious try vs. males in the Turf; dual Group 1 winner handled quality opponent Punctilious (second in last week's E.P. Taylor) with ease, and might have been closer with a better trip in Arc return. There is no stand-out among the U.S.-based entrants, but FILM MAKER has offered consistently strong finishes on a number of different courses, including a useful experience in faster division of three-turn Glens Falls at this trip; capable of hitting the board at boxcar odds, and perhaps taking the whole thing if top pick breaks extremely poorly. LIGHT JIG beat a weak field in Yellow Ribbon, but did it the right way; SoCal turf horses historically run well at Lone Star.


OUIJA BOARD ran a tremendous race finishing third in the Arc. She was beaten only 1 1/2 lengths and finished ahead of several of Europe's most accomplished males despite encountering trouble in the stretch. She previously dominated the English and Irish Oaks, and will be hard to deny here. Even though she finished fifth, AUBONNE ran as well as anyone in the Flower Bowl, considering she was compromised by severe traffic in the stretch. She switches to Jerry Bailey, is going to be a big price, and is an intriguing possibility. LIGHT JIG crushed a weaker field in the Yellow Ribbon. That was her first start in more than two months and she is perfectly eligible to produce an even stronger performance this time.