Views from connections ahead of the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Saturday.
- Related Content
The Fugue strives to exorcise last season's painful memories at Santa Anita when she runs the gauntlet in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
John Gosden's excellent filly has perhaps been the most talked-about horse of the European contingent following back-to-back Group One victories in the Yorkshire Oaks and the Irish Champion Stakes.
There is, however, a score to settle upon her return to America.
The Andrew Lloyd Webber-owned four-year-old was cruelly trapped for room in the Filly & Mare Turf 12 months ago before she flashed home for third.
The Fugue again had that race as an option, but the enterprising Gosden has instead rolled the dice against the opposite sex and over a longer trip.
He said: "She is a year older and a stronger filly, but she still needs to get daylight. I've seen horses locked up many times on this track.
"Though she likes the track and the ground if you get pinned down on the inside at Santa Anita from a low draw it is a very tight track and it's not easy to wriggle out of there.
"I've seen many horses and jockeys get pinned in there and not get a clear run until too late and that's what happened to her last year.
"She's in good form and she would have run in the Arc except for the ground and she would have run in the Champion Stakes except for the ground.
"We are hoping we can rely on the ground in Los Angeles."
Magician, the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, will represent trainer Aidan O'Brien, but he was well beaten on his last start in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
O'Brien said: "He's in good form. He won a very strongly-run Irish Guineas on fast ground and then he had a bit of a setback before he went to Ascot. He probably shouldn't have gone to Ascot.
"He had a break after that and he's been in good shape since. He hasn't run because the ground has been soft.
"You obviously need a quick horse around here over a mile and a half and you get the fast ground, so it's going to be interesting.
"We're very happy with him and he's in good order."
Little Mike attempts to defend his Turf crown for trainer Dale Romans.
The six-year-old geared up for this with a nose defeat of Big Blue Kitten in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park in September.
Romans said: "His last race was spectacular. I've never seen him look better.
"He's very good right now, training as well he's ever trained, and I do think he can move forward off the Joe Hirsch."
Big Blue Kitten renews rivalry, with trainer Chad Brown confident his impressive five-year-old is on very good terms with himself.
He said: "This horse has finally come around, and I think we're seeing the best of him right now.
"He seems to be peaking. You can put him wherever you want, and jockey Joe Bravo seems to get along with him very well."
Brown is double-handed with Real Solution, who was a length behind Little Mike at Belmont Park.
Last year's Turf runner-up Point Of Entry brings stout form to the table for trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey John Velazquez.
The five-year-old entire is unbeaten this year, with Grade One victories at Gulfstream Park and at Belmont Park, but has been sidelined for five months since he underwent major surgery on a hind leg.
McGaughey said: "Point of Entry is doing excellent. I couldn't be happier.
"If he stumbled at some point along the way, we would have pulled the plug. But so far every time we did something with him, he did it better than the time before.
"I think he'll be fit enough. He's a high-energy horse.
"If it was a deep track it might worry me, but on a hard track out there that I know he'll like, I think he'll be ready."