09/25/2013 3:39PM

Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf: Flower Bowl, Rodeo Drive feature heavy hitters

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Benoit & Associates
Marketing Mix, who won the Rodeo Drive last year (above), is expected to attempt a repeat victory in the Win and You’re In race Saturday at Santa Anita.

For much of September there were few developments leading up to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, with most of the leading contenders training but not racing.

Saturday things finally get interesting with a pair of Grade 1, Win and You’re In races, the Flower Bowl at Belmont and the Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita, which collectively drew the cream of the older U.S.-based fillies and mares being pointing for the 1 1/4-mile Filly and Mare Turf to be run at Santa Anita Nov. 2.

Although the Rodeo Drive’s $250,000 purse is less than half of the Flower Bowl’s $600,000 pot, it has more star power, featuring Marketing Mix and Tiz Flirtatious, two elite U.S. turf mares, as well as Lady of Shamrock, another filly on the path to the Breeders’ Cup.

With the exception of Laughing – who is perfect in three starts in 2013, a record that includes front-running triumphs in the Diana and Ballston Spa at Saratoga – the entrants in the Flower Bowl aren’t as accomplished or as fast as the top ones in the Rodeo Drive. Most run Beyer Speed Figures in 80s or low 90s, aside from Laughing, who paired 97 Beyers in her last two.

Rodeo Drive headliners Marketing Mix and Tiz Flirtatious often run figures in the upper 90s, and Dank, who is expected to ship from Europe for the Breeders’ Cup, ran a 107 Beyer in romping in the Beverly D. Aug. 17 at Arlington Park.

Laughing and entrymate Tannery, both owned by Richard Santulli, are seemingly the ones most in need of a Flower Bowl win to participate in the Filly and Mare Turf. Neither is Breeders’ Cup-nominated, and a horses-of-racing-age supplemental nomination is prohibitive, costing $100,000.

Should either win, however, the rich first-place prize of the Flower Bowl, along with the fees-paid berth as a Win and You’re In race, could take away some of the financial sting of a supplement.

In discussing their potential Breeders’ Cup participation Wednesday, trainer Alan Goldberg seemed hesitant that Santulli would want to supplement either, particularly Tannery, who he mentioned as being considered for the $500,000 E. P. Taylor at Woodbine Sept. 27.

“Maybe if Laughing ran huge,” she would be supplemented, he said.

Making a supplement more of a gamble this year is the strong European contingent expected. In addition to Dank, The Fugue and Winsili are under Filly and Mare Turf consideration.

Although The Fugue is also expected to be pre-entered in the Turf against males, bookmaker William Hill has The Fugue heavily favored at 11-8 odds, with Dank second choice at 9-2.