10/27/2010 4:38PM

Midday may be even sharper for F&M Turf defense

Tom Keyser
Midday, Tom Queally up, wins the 2009 BC Filly and Mare Turf

Midday will be a strong favorite in an attempt to defend her title in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Nov. 5, a race that drew just 11 pre-entrants from Europe, Japan, and North America.

Midday won the 2009 BC Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita and is arguably in better form this year, having won 3 of 4 starts, with Group 1 wins in England and France in her last three races.

The list of starters may be fewer than the pre-entries. Hibaayeb, who won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Hollywood Park earlier this month, may not run, according to Simon Crisford, the racing manager for Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Racing.

Crisford said Wednesday that Hibaayeb may remain in California for the Hollywood Turf Cup against males on Nov. 13.

The list of pre-entries includes three other Grade 1 or Group 1 winners this year - Eclair de Lune (Beverly D. Stakes), Harmonious (Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup and American Oaks), and Plumania (Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in France).

The other pre-entrants include 2010 stakes winners from Dubai (Red Desire), Kentucky (Hot Cha Cha), Virginia (Shared Account), Canada (Miss Keller), and Forever Together and Keertana, who have placed in stakes this year.

Forever Together won the 2008 Filly and Mare Turf, the year she was champion turf female, and was third last year. She is winless in five starts this year.