OCEANPORT, N.J. -- The undefeated Nashoba's Key drew post 3 and was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's $2.13 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Monmouth Park.
Twelve of the 13 horses pre-entered for the Filly and Mare Turf entered the race, including Precious Kitten, whose connections had designated the $2 million Mile as their first preference. Panty Raid, also pre-entered in the Distaff, did not enter either race.
The 11 opponents Nashoba's Key will face in the Filly and Mare Turf equal the number of rivals she faced in her last three races combined in Southern California. Carla Gaines, trainer of Nashoba's Key, doesn't see the big field as a problem.
"With the distance and her natural speed, going longer I think she'll be forwardly placed," Gaines said by phone from Southern California. "I guess traffic won't be an issue."
Precious Kitten may end up being the main speed in the race. She won the Grade 2 Palomar at Del Mar on the front end and was forwardly placed when beaten a half-length by Vacare in the First Lady at Keeneland. She was being pointed to the Mile before trainer Bobby Frankel and owner Ken Ramsey examined the makeup of both fields.
"Mr. Ramsey and I discussed it - we think she'd have a better chance going longer against the girls," Frankel said by phone from Southern California. "Numbers-wise, the Mile is a tougher race."
She will most likely have to use her speed after drawing post 12.
Frankel also entered Argentina, who hasn't won in two years. She was beaten less than a length in the Grade 1 Diana, and though she finished fifth in the Flower Bowl, Argentina was beaten only 1 3/4 lengths.
All four European-based horses that were pre-entered were entered in the race, including All My Loving, who finished third in the Barathea Finale Stakes on Sunday at the Curragh. Passage of Time, third in the Groupo1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp last month, was installed as the 7-2 second choice.
Wait a While is the 4-1 third choice. Trainer Todd Pletcher will be monitoring the weather and condition of the course before deciding if she will run. Pletcher also entered Honey Ryder.
Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Flower Bowl winner Lahudood, also is concerned about course condition as his filly has shown a preference for firm turf over soft. She drew post 6. Lahudood had to be supplemented to the race for a fee of $180,000.