Updated on 09/15/2011 2:06PM

Countdown to the Cup: Filly & Mare Turf (9/27)


Three significant preps for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, including the Flower Bowl, a race trainer Christophe Clement calls "a mini-Breeders' Cup," will be run this weekend.

The results of these races should put the prospective lineup for the Filly and Mare Turf into focus after the defection of division leader Astra, who will miss the race because of injury.

Belmont's Grade 1 Flower Bowl, a race in which the Clement-trained England's Legend takes on Starine and European invader Lailani, will be contested Saturday. All three preps are at 1 1/4 miles, the distance of the Filly and Mare Turf.

On Sunday, Santa Anita will run the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Handicap and Woodbine will run the $500,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes.

England's Legend is coming off a 7 3/4-length victory in the Grade 1 Beverly D., a performance that has even the usually conservative Clement talking in superlatives.

"Even Coretta, who finished second in the 1999 Flower Bowl and second again in the Breeders' Cup, didn't impress me like England's Legend," said Clement.

"It's tough enough to win any Grade 1 race. You don't see many horses winning them by nearly eight lengths."

Clement also trains the 3-year-old Voodoo Dancer, who runs in Keeneland's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Oct. 13.

Among the Yellow Ribbon runners who could earn a spot in the Filly and Mare Turf are Seven Seas and Napenthe.

Tout Charmant, runner-up in the 2000 Filly and Mare Turf, runs in Keeneland's Winstar Galaxy Stakes on Sept. 30.