Mucciolo's Breeders' Cup Saturday single

November 5th, 2021

A sensational weekend of racing will take place at Del Mar during the Breeders’ Cup Thoroughbred World Championships. The highest class of horses will compete in deep and rich fields during the exciting two-day extravaganza.

Last year, I took a shot and centered numerous wagers around #12 Audarya (5-1) in the Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at a robust 17-1, and I was handsomely rewarded when the daughter of Wootton Bassett came out victorious in the 1 3/16-mile affair at Keeneland. And while she returns to defend her title as a prime player in the cast, I am siding with another in a race that has been especially good to me over the years.

With all due respect to the fine collection of contenders in the field coming from abroad, I think that the top prize will go to a domestic filly. The Bill Mott-trained #7 War Like Goddess (7-2) has been machine-like in her last three races overall and has room for improvement with only seven career starts to her credit.

The filly who was a $1,200 weanling purchase in 2017 and never received at bid at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, was ultimately a $30,000 auction buy as a two-year-old in training at OBS.

She was two-for-two as a sophomore in 2020 before suffering her first setback to kickstart this season, but she has been on a tear ever since. A late winner of the Orchid S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park in her second seasonal assignment, the daughter of English Channel has been simply dominant in her last trio of outings.

War Like Goddess cruised home an easy victress of the Bewitch (G3) at Keeneland in April, prior to driving home a clear winner in the Glens Falls S. (G2) and Flower Bowl S. (G1), both at Saratoga. The four-year-old hasn’t defeated the deepest fields that have ever been assembled in advance of her sternest test to date, but it’s the way that she wins that makes me think so highly of her. She has improved her Brisnet Speed figure in every outing in 2021, and the half-mile work that the Kentucky-bred put in at Del Mar on Sunday tells me that she will make another leap forward at Del Mar. Her three-for-three mark at 1 3/8 miles adds to her appeal.

The Filly and Mare Turf concludes one Pick 4 (starting in Race 4), acts as the second leg of two other Pick 4’s (one starting in Race 5, and the other beginning in Race 6), and is also the first leg of the demanding Pick 6. If you’re looking for a single for each of those sequences, then War Like Goddess might be a good one for you!