Don't overlook Visit in F&M Turf
ARCADIA, Calif. - The closest Visit has come to winning this year is two second-place finishes to Magical Fantasy in major turf stakes for females in California.
She is winless in seven starts in 2009, and that record could be perceived as a reason not to include her among selections for Friday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita.
That could be a dangerous point of view. Visit, 10-1 on the Santa Anita morning line, was a game second to Magical Fantasy in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 30, losing by a neck, and a half-length behind that same filly when second in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes here on Oct. 10.
Magical Fantasy is the 3-1 second choice in the Filly and Mare Turf behind defending champion Forever Together, listed at 5-2.
Visit drew the rail in the Filly and Mare Turf, which has eight entrants, and that position could force jockey John Velazquez to send her to the front. She may be alone in that position, at least early in the 1 1/4-mile turf race, and could race comfortably enough to be a factor deep into the stretch.
"I don't think it will hurt her," said Humberto Ascanio, Bobby Frankel's assistant. "I think it will be okay. I don't think there will be much speed."
The Filly and Mare Turf will be the first time that Velazquez has ridden Visit. Previous rider Garrett Gomez has the mount on Pure Clan, who won the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park in her last start on Oct. 3.
"I hope she relaxes for him," Ascanio said.
Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Visit was fourth in the 2008 Filly and Mare Turf. The Yellow Ribbon last month was run over the same course and distance as the Filly and Mare Turf and was arguably Visit's best performance of the year.
"It was a good race," Ascanio said. "I was pleased with the way she was going."
At the same time, Ascanio acknowledges that Magical Fantasy could just be better than Visit. "That filly looks like she's getting better and better," he said of the rival.
Tuesday's post position draw for the Filly and Mare Turf revealed no surprises. Magical Fantasy drew post 4 and will be ridden by Alex Solis. Forever Together has drawn post 2, and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
As expected, trainer John Gosden will not have a starter. Of the two fillies that he had pre-entered, Dar Re Mi will run in the Turf and Rainbow View will start in the Ladies' Classic.
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