10/29/2012 5:23PM

Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf: Marketing Mix has home-court edge but faces tough task

Shigeki Kikkawa
Marketing Mix and Garrett Gomez win the Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita in September.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Of the 12 fillies and mares in Friday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita only one can boast a win over the course and distance this year.

Marketing Mix won the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf on Sept. 29, a victory that vaulted her to the fore of the American contenders for Friday’s race.

Her familiarity with the course will be needed.

The Filly and Mare Turf has drew a strong field Monday afternoon, including the European-based Group 1 winners I’m a Dreamer, Nahrain, Ridasiyna, and The Fugue. The American-based runners include the Grade 1 winners In Lingerie, Lady of Shamrock, Nereid, Star Billing, and Zagora. Up, from Ireland, and Stormy Lucy, based in California, also start as longshots.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: Race-by-race coverage, video, early odds]

The Fugue, trained by John Gosden, may go favored, although there will be ample support for Ridasiyna, who won the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp in Paris on Oct. 7. The Fugue, second by a neck in the Yorkshire Oaks in England on Aug. 23, was also pre-entered for Saturday’s BC Turf, but she will start in Friday’s race.

“She’s a 3-year-old and we want to stay with the fillies,” trainer John  Gosden said by phone from England.

Marketing Mix was pronounced fit and ready by trainer Tom Proctor on Monday from his base at Hollywood Park.

“We’re like a farmer who has picked his strawberries, and we want to get to market,” Proctor said.

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

Before the Rodeo Drive Stakes, Proctor was reluctant to look into the future. Marketing Mix won that race by 2 1/4 lengths, closing from sixth in a field of 13 with a three-wide move on the turn. Jockey Garrett Gomez rode Marketing Mix for the first time in nearly a year in the Rodeo Drive. He has the mount on Friday and the confidence of Proctor.

“Garrett knows how to ride these races,” Proctor said. “We’re not going in with a rookie.”

Proctor trains Marketing Mix for Glen Hill Farm. An Ontario-bred, Marketing Mix has won 8 of 15 starts and $1,299,518. She was beaten a head by I’m A Dreamer in the Beverly D Stakes at Arlington Park in August. Earlier this year at Woodbine, she won two Grade 2 stakes – the Nassau and Dance Smartly Stakes.

A win in the Filly and Mare Turf would be a first in a Breeders’ Cup race for Leonard Lavin’s Glen Hill Farm and Proctor since One Dreamer won the 1994 BC Distaff at Churchill Downs.

“It’d be nice for the farm and Mr. Lavin,” Proctor said of a potential win.

It would also be a late birthday present. Lavin turned 93 on Monday.