Breeders' Cup Distaff Preview
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 20:40:00
The Breeders’ Cup Distaff will cap opening night of the World Championships on Friday, November 1st and will be run for the ladies at a mile and one-eighth over the main track for a purse of $2 million. It appears the field will end up short, but what it will lack in size, it will make up for in talent.
The two-time defending champ and reigning “Queen” of the racing world, Royal Delta, will make her way to the gate as the post time favorite unless something inconceivable to me takes place. She is the quintessential horse of the Mott barn that reminds us not every single race is a must win for him. Just when she looks unbeatable, she seems to throw in a lackluster effort. When it’s all on the line though, she never disappoints. With age, she developed a front running style, and there is little doubt she will employ that here, just as she did to capture last year’s crown.
That early lead will not be conceded though, as three-year-old Beholder has suggested that all quarter-miles go through her. She has freakish speed and has led just about every pole since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies here last year. Her only defeats have come in her return from last year’s BC win following a 10-week+ layoff and the G1 Kentucky Oaks in May. Otherwise she has three G1 wins to speak of, all of which also came locally. She absolutely cannot be taken lightly.
Another three-year-old, Princess of Sylmar, not only took down the queen in her last start, but also served Beholder one of those two losses on the year. Connections said they would not go to the Breeders’ Cup this year (opting to prep for a ’14 campaign) but whispers suggest they are getting the fever and everyone who has followed horse racing this year is hoping that holds true. She’s won 8-of-10 career starts, four of those G1’s and three of those at this distance. She’ll have no problem letting Royal Delta and Beholder duke it out. Let’s just all hope she is watching from the track.
Close Hatches is yet another three-year-old and she’s a stable mate of Royal Delta. She may be looked at as an outsider, but it should be considered that she is the only horse to finish ahead of Princess of Sylmar in over a year. Her form is sharp, exiting consecutive G1 scores on the east coast, but it is tough to consider her more than “the other Mott horse” when looking at this stiff competition.
Authenticity has an impressive record of 6-2-4-0 in graded stakes this year, but it pales in comparison to what she’ll face in this spot. She also shares a stable with a much more prominent contender (Princess of Sylmar) in this race. Others being considered are Street Girl and Wittgenstein, who will find themselves in a whole new world when they line up next to these fire-breathers.
Early thoughts: This is a tough one to analyze at this point. The anticipation of a final decision from the connections of Princess of Sylmar looms large, although most people will consider what is “best for the horse.” From where I stand, I want her in there to bet against her. She beat a subpar performance from Royal Delta and a Beholder that lost her mind in the post parade leading up to the Oaks. While I can’t imagine a world in which she would be sent to post as the favorite, she would no doubt take significant money. Personally, I would love to get a decent price on Beholder. Her speed is incredible and this race would give her the best shot at taking down the queen – an undeniably tall task. While the others seems to be comfortably on the outside looking in, I’m going to wait to see how the Sylmar saga plays out, before I rack my brain with this one any further.
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