10/23/2008 11:00PM

Which foreign imports are likely to run well?


Friday's all-female Breeders' Cup card features a number of intriguing raiders to these shores.

Filly and Mare Sprint: Psalm is not one of Aidan O'Brien's best chances this weekend. Although she whipped older colts by eight lengths winning a modest Group 3 at Tipperary, that race was run on heavy turf, which is nothing like she will encounter on Friday. Not the quickest of starters, she will likely be outpaced early.

Lady Sprinter, trained since July at Santa Anita by Juan Reviriego, will be making her first start in the U.S. since arriving from Argentina, where she was champion sprinter. Never headed in eight dirt starts in Buenos Aires, she is a filly with a future but runs here off a 5o1/2-month layoff. Moreover, she will be going two furlongs farther than she has ever been before, not an encouraging sign for a committed front-runner. Indian Blessing's legion of backers should, however, beware her potential for softening up their favorite.

Juvenile Fillies Turf: O'Brien will send out another longshot here in Heart Shaped. A half-sister to Champagne Stakes winner A P Valentine, she won her maiden against colts in a Curragh listed race but has disappointed since. That said, her 2 1/2-length fourth in the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes rates with the North American Grade 3 victories of C Karma and Maram as well as the ungraded score of Laragh.

The third-place finish of Beyond Our Reach in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes was a fine effort, but the Danehill Dancer filly failed to follow up when ninth in a subpar Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes. She also appears to prefer soft ground, which she won't get on Friday.

April Pride, by definition an American horse as she is now trained by Jim Cassidy, is a dangerous longshot. On the improve, the ex-Richard Hannon trainee was third in the Group 3 Prestige Stakes last time, and as she is by the stouthearted Falbrav should appreciate the step up to a mile. Like so many Europeans, however, she must improve on the slow starts to which she has become accustomed.

Juvenile Fillies: Pursuit of Glory, one of two Coolmore Breeders' Cup runners trained by John Magnier's son-in-law David Wachman, must be considered. A six-length maiden winner on Polytrack in her second start against a weak field at Dundalk, she is clearly one who loves an artificial surface. She improved again in displaying a touch of class when finishing third in the Cheveley Park. As she is by Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus out of a Storm Cat mare, Sophisticat, who won Royal Ascot's one-mile Group 1 Coronation Stakes and is herself a daughter of Serena's Song, Pursuit of Glory brings a lot of value to her 8-1 morning-line price.

Filly and Mare Turf: While trying to separate Wait a While, Mauralakana, Dynaforce, Halfway to Heaven, and Folk Opera in one of the weekend's more competitive races, do not overlook Visit. In the process of being switched by Juddmonte from Michael Stoute to Bobby Frankel, she looks like a filly who will take to the faster pace of American racing, and although she has never been beyond a mile or won anything better than a Group 3, she has a world of potential. A half-sister to her Juddmonte stablemate Promising Lead, the winner of the 1 1/4-mile, Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes, Visit may well take after her broodmare sire Kahyasi more than her speedy sire Oasis Dream. In finishing 1 1/2 lengths third to Halfway to Heaven in the one-mile Sun Chariot Stakes last time, she acted like she needed a longer distance.

There is a suspicion that the O'Brien-trained Halfway to Heaven prefers a mile to 1 1/4 miles despite her victory in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes in August. She was lucky to win that day, as head runner-up Lush Lashes was much the best after encountering a world of trouble.

Folk Opera stole the E.P. Taylor on a brilliant front-running ride from Frankie Dettori, who will have to be at his very best to pull off the same trick here, as he will face early heat from Dynaforce and Precious Kitten as well as Halfway to Heaven. But Folk Opera is undefeated at the distance and the Singspiel filly goes for a Godolphin outfit that is suddenly red hot.