10/26/2011 1:37PM

Breeders' Cup: Stacelita tops a Filly and Mare Turf lacking depth

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Tom Keyser
Stacelita should be the favorite for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Stacelita, winner of the Beverly D. Stakes in August and Flower Bowl Invitational earlier this month, is the rightful favorite for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Nov. 4. She may not face the toughest field possible.

There were 17 fillies and mares pre-entered Monday, including the last two winners – Midday at Santa Anita in 2009 and defending champion Shared Account at Churchill Downs last year. Midday may start in the BC Turf against males, a race that also could draw Sarafina, who won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in Paris in June and was pre-entered for the BC Filly and Mare Turf.

Aruna, winner of the Spinster Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 9, has a first preference for the Ladies’ Classic and a second preference for the Filly and Mare Turf. Defections by those fillies and mares would allow Dynaslew, Perfect Shirl, and Medaglia d’Amour to move into the field from the also-eligible list.

Midday and Sarafina are two of five European-based fillies and mares pre-entered for the Filly and Mare Turf. The other three are Group 1 winners this year – the undefeated Nahrain, who won the Prix de l’Opera; Announce, who won the Prix Jean Romanet and was second in the Prix de l’Opera; and Misty for Me, who won the Pretty Polly Stakes.

Aside from Stacelita, the American-based team is led by Dubawi Heights. She was second to Stacelita in the Beverly D. and won the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Santa Anita earlier this month.