10/27/2010 2:49PM

Packed house makes for wide-open Filly and Mare Sprint


With 22 pre-entries, easily the most of any of the 14 Breeders' Cup races this year, there won't be many more wide-open BC events than the $1 million Filly and Mare Sprint. The race surely will net a full gate of 14, with the first also-eligible, Rinterval, probably cracking the lineup because Unrivaled Belle is far more likely to opt out in favor of the BC Ladies' Classic.

After that, seven more are still waiting on the outside, with Qualia first on the bubble. Other less accomplished horses come afterward for a race in which few people would reasonably argue that a serious contender has been excluded.

Dubai Majesty, winner of the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes in her last start, is one of many of the F-M Sprint pre-entrants to have a recent work, although hers came in a somewhat unconventional fashion. Trainer Bret Calhoun opted to work her Tuesday on the Churchill grass course in lieu of the dirt "because the turf is a lot easier on her," according to assistant Dennis "Peaches" Geier. The 5-year-old mare responded with a half-mile in 49.60 seconds with the dogs up.

Dubai Majesty is one of three starters who will have to be supplemented for a 9-percent fee ($90,000), with the others being Jessica Is Back and Rightly So.
To illustrate how contentious the race should be, the British bookmaker, William Hill, is listing Dubai Majesty and Rightly So as co-favorites at 9-2, followed by Informed Decision (11-2), Champagne d'Oro (8-1), Evening Jewel (9-1), and Sara Louise (11-1).

This will be the first year the F-M Sprint will be run at seven furlongs on dirt. Its 2007 inaugural at Monmouth Park was run at six furlongs, while the last two runnings were at seven furlongs on Pro-Ride at Santa Anita.