10/27/2012 1:19PM

Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf: Lady of Shamrock facing a different class of competition

Barbara D. Livingston
In Lingerie (left) works a half-mile in 46.60 seconds on turf Saturday at Santa Anita in company with Turbo Compressor.

Lady of Shamrock has won four turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies this year. Her last two starts were victories in Grade 1 races during the summer. Earlier this year, she was unbeaten in three turf stakes at Santa Anita.

All of that would seemingly make Lady of Shamrock a leading contender for Friday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita. But an interrupted preparation in recent months and a stellar field of fillies and mares in the Filly and Mare Turf will make Lady of Shamrock a bit of an outsider.

“You can line up the pluses and minuses,” trainer John Sadler said. “We are on our home course. We know she’s good here.

[BREEDERS' CUP WORKOUTS: Full DRF coverage, Mike Welsch video reports]

“We’re ready, but it’s about the competition. We’ve been running against a different class.”

Unfortunately, Lady of Shamrock has not faced the highest level of competition. She won the Grade 1 American Oaks over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 14 and followed with a smart half-length win in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks over 1 1/8 miles on turf on Aug. 18.

Sadler considered a prep race in early October for Lady of Shamrock, but canceled those plans when she developed an illness in late September. Instead, Lady of Shamrock has been trained up to Friday’s race, which is run over 1 1/4 miles. She worked seven furlongs in 1:28.40 on Saturday. Sadler timed her in “1:27 and change.”

At Santa Anita, Lady of Shamrock has won stakes over a mile to 1 1/8 miles. A closer, she will be ridden by Mike Smith.

His job aboard Lady of Shamrock is to catch a world-class field expected to include the 2012 European-based Group 1 winners I’m a Dreamer, Nahrain, Ridasiyna, and The Fugue and the 2012 American Grade 1 stakes winners In Lingerie and Marketing Mix.

In Lingerie, who won the Spinster Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 7, worked a half-mile in 46.60 seconds on turf Saturday.

“They are very good fillies,” Sadler said. “This is probably as good of a race as there is. I won’t be happy unless we win, but there are no easy races.”

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