With a domestic team expected to include Citronnade, Honey Ryder, Nashoba's Key, and Wait a While, this may be a year when American-based horses claim the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27 from their European rivals.
European-based females have dominated the race, winning three of the last four runnings. The probable starters for Filly and Mare Turf at 1 3/8 miles will become clearer over the next three weeks, with major races run throughout the United States and Europe.
The $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park on Sept. 29 will have a strong field, featuring Wait a While, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2006; Alexander Tango, the winner of the Garden City Stakes on Sept. 8; and Royal Highness, the winner of the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park last month.
Citronnade, the winner of four graded stakes this year, and Nashoba's Key, unbeaten in six starts, are probable for the $400,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 29.
Honey Ryder, third in the 2006 BC Filly and Mare Turf, may prep against males in the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic going 1 1/2 miles at Belmont Park on Sept. 30.
She is not the only leading contender to the Filly and Mare Turf who could challenge males soon.
Peeping Fawn, the winner of four Group 1 races in Europe this year, is a candidate for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe against males at Longchamp in Paris on Oct. 7. The European females Mrs Lindsay, Passage of Time, and West Wind are other candidates for the BC Filly and Mare Turf.
Two fillies have earned automatic berths to the Filly and Mare Turf - Royal Highness by winning the Beverly D., and My Typhoon through her victory in the Diana Handicap at Saratoga in July.
Another automatic berth is available to the winner of the $400,000 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 6, a field that will include the multiple stakes winner Precious Kitten.