10/16/2007 11:00PM

Dream Rush looms as favorite

EmailWith pre-entrants La Traviata and Hystericalady likely to run in the Breeders' Cup Sprint and Breeders' Cup Distaff, respectively, the first running of the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint won't be as strong a race as it could have been.

This, however, is good news for Dream Rush, who now projects to be a big favorite in a field of 10. In all 12 were pre-entered for the Filly and Mare Sprint on Monday.

Dream Rush decisively won the Grade 1 Test Stakes and Grade 1 Prioress Stakes in her last two starts, and has earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in her last four starts. Dream Rush has high early speed, which was on display in the Test when she quickly discouraged other speed horses in the initial stages. But Dream Rush has also demonstrated that she does not need the lead to be effective. That could be an asset in the Filly and Mare Sprint, as Shaggy Mane, a sharp second in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap two starts back, and Oprah Winney, winner of 4 of 6 starts this year, including the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Breeders' Cup, have a good deal of early zip.

Due to a minor illness that forced her to miss a start in last month's Gallant Bloom Handicap, this will be Dream Rush's first start in nearly three months. She has, however, worked sharply in recent weeks, and she has run well fresh. In fact, Dream Rush's fastest race in terms of Beyer Figures, a 103 for a 9 1/4-romp in the Nassau County Breeders' Cup last May, came off of a similar layoff.

Maryfield is this field's only other Grade 1 stakes winner, having earned that distinction in the Ballerina Stakes with a nose decision over Baroness Thatcher, who is also in this race. Prior to the Ballerina, Baroness Thatcher finished a little more than two lengths behind Dream Rush when third in the Test. Baroness Thatcher had a tough trip when third most recently in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes, won by Wild Gams, another Filly and Mare Sprint pre-entrant.

Miss Macy Sue will draw a good bit of betting support, and justifiably so. She has won sprint stakes in 5 of her last 6 starts over four different tracks, and is versatile in terms of running style.

The three remaining pre-entrants are Jazzy, winner of the Gallant Bloom in her first start on dirt and the field's lone supplemental entry at a cost of $150,000; Miraculous Miss, third in the Ballerina three starts back; and Rahiyah, who was Group 1 stakes placed in France five starts back.