Believe it or not, guys and gals, there are other Breeders' Cup related things we can talk besides Rachel vs. Zenyatta (although no matter what the new topic is I'm certain it will inevitably come back to that). There are other divisions out there shaping up nicely, including the intriguing older turf females, which has three legitimate stars.
Tuscan Evening is undefeated in all five starts this season, the rapidly-improving Proviso has scored consecutive grade I wins, and champion Forever Together, even though she has not won since last summer, never runs a bad race. Which one will vault themselves to the top this summer?
Tuscan Evening is incredible. Since breaking her maiden in January, 2009 the daughter of Oasis Dream has won 11 of 15 starts, nine of them in stakes company and the wins have come from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/4 miles. She captured her elusive grade I win last out in the Gamely when holding off Forever Together by a half-length. Jerry Holldendorfer has done a remarkable job with the 5-year-old mare, who unbelievably was winless in 11 starts while racing in Europe. She will likely stay in California this summer.
Proviso also began her career in Europe, though she had much more success than Tuscan Evening. The daughter o Dansili won five of 15 starts in England/France, including a group III stake last summer at Longchamp. In her first start in the U.S. she crossed the wire first in the grade I Spinster at Keeneland but was DQ'd for interference in the stretch. After finishing runner-up in the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. IT) on Polytrack in January, Bill Mott moved her back to turf where she tallied grade I wins in the Kilroe Mile and Just a Game under Mike Smith. Distance is the only question for Proviso; she has never won beyond nine furlongs. Remember, the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf is at 1 3/8 miles at Churchill this year, instead of 1 1/4 miles. Look for her in the Diana this summer.
I keep waiting for Forever Together to get back to the winner's circle. She ran very well in both runner-up efforts this season, missing by a half-length in the Jenny Wiley at Keeneland and in the Gamely. Now 6, many think she has lost a half-step, but it can also be argued that she just needs a little more pace to run at. She is riding a five-race losing streak, but has not finished worse than third in any of those. The Belong to Me mare will probably meet Proviso in the Diana, which she has won the last two years. I don't think we've heard the last of Forever Together.
Also deserving mention in the older turf female division is Wasted Tears, who beat Forever Together in the Jenny Wiley and has won six straight; grade I winner Hot Cha Cha, a winner last out in the Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill; and Phola, beaten a half-length by Proviso in the Just a Game for her first loss in for starts this season.