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Breeders Cup 2014: Breeders Cup Distaff Early Preview, Odds and Picks

Kevin's Look at the 2014 Breeders Cup Distaff Odds

2014 Breeders Cup: Friday October 31

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TV: NBC

The defection of last year’s champ, Beholder changes the look of this race quite a bit.  She would have vied for favoritism with the other top contenders, who likely won’t miss her as they load in the gate. 

The likely favorite now is Close Hatches who ran second in this race last year and rattled off three straight Grade 1 wins earlier this year.  Her most recent appearance in the Spinster can either be viewed as a flop or a disinterested effort in her final prep.

Breeders Cup 2014: Breeders Cup Distaff Early Preview, Odds and Picks

Close behind, or quite possibly ahead of her in wagering will be 3-year-old filly Untapable.  This will be her first try against older competition, but her age group is no match for her at the time.  Last time she stepped out of her division, she couldn’t hang with the 3-year-old boys in the Haskell.

Iotapa will probably get some attention from those trying to beat the top 2 as the 4-year-old has a dominant G1 win over this strip in the summer.  Bella Gallentey has won two G1’s this summer but benefitted from a slow pace in each.  Don’t Tell Sophia was the upset winner of the G1 Spinster and that recent win over Close Hatches may be given too much credit by the bettors.

Ria Antonia is another 3-year-old stepping up.   She also put in a big effort in the Spinster, but that was probably her best to date, and it still wasn’t good enough.  If nothing else, she could be a pace presence and it is worth noting that she won the BC Juvenile Fillies here last year (albeit by DQ).  Tiz Midnight is a 4-year-old that was a maiden until her local score in June.  A second place finish to Beholder in the Zenyatta suggests talent, though. 

Valiant Emilia is expected to show up as a winner of a “Win and You’re In” contest in Peru.  L’Amour de Ma Vie and Parranda are both possible, while expected to cross enter in the BC Fillies & Mares Turf.

 

Early Thoughts:  Close Hatches’ misfire in the Spinster is no cause for concern.  It is not unusual by any means to see a Mott horse on cruise control in their final prep before the goal.  Based on this year’s body of work, she is an overwhelming favorite against these.  The only potential trouble is getting too head-strong early on, but the fact of the matter is she can probably employ multiple different tactics to find the winner’s circle in this one.  It’s difficult to see her as anything but one of the most likely winners of the weekend at odds ranging anywhere from 8-5 to 5-2.  We’ll see. 

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