It's officially Breeders' Cup prep season
The Breeders' Cup prep races that will receive the most attention are those held five and four weeks out from the World Championships on November 2-3 at Santa Anita Park, but this week's races will surely produce some BC starters and maybe even a couple favorites should Questing and/or Turbulent Descent win their races--the Cotillion and Gallant Bloom, respectively.
The Cotillion has taken some lumps for its field-to-purse ratio, and it is surprising that so many three-year-old fillies would line up for $400,000 at Charles Town and not have at least cross entered at Parx where third and beyond in the Cotillion are still running for $200,000, but I also can't fault connections for not wanting to face the aforementioned Questing or the undefeated champion My Miss Aurelia.
I'm finding it very difficult to take a stand with either filly, but I'm certainly not using more than those two (which granted is half the field). Questing will certainly be favored, but I think they'll be close in price. If somehow MMA is 2-to-1 I'd bet her to win.
My views on the remaining players on the three-year-old scene are known, and I doubt anything that happens in the Pennsylvania Derby will change that, but it is a fun race with the Travers rematch and Mucho Macho and some intriguing longshots including Handsome Mike.
The Gallant Bloom is a Grade 2 in name only and would be a worthy Grade 1 prep for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Groupie Doll is certainly the favorite for that race, but if Turbulent Descent freaked out the Pletcher-Coolmore connection could generate enough handle to make her the favorite. Regardless, of all the races this weekend, this is the one I'm most interested in from a Breeders' Cup perspective.