Stellar Field Set for 2015 Breeders’ Cup Distaff
Stellar Field for 2015 Breeders’ Cup Distaff: The 2015 edition of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships is set for Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31, so get out your fun Halloween costumes, folks! This two-day series of races is designed to bring the best horses from around the world together, and for the first time ever, these races will be held at Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky, smack-dab in the middle of some of the finest farms and breeding programs in the world.
Day one culminates with the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI), which is a weight-for-age Thoroughbred horse race for fillies and mares, three-years-old and up. The Distaff was also known as the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic between 2008 and 2012. The mare Bayakoa (ARG) (1989, 1990) shares the most wins with Royal Delta (2011, 2012), and jockey Mike Smith owns the most wins with five (1995, 1997, 2002, 2008, 2012). Trainer Bill Mott owns the most wins with five as well (1997, 1998, 2010, 2011, 2012). Last year, Untapable won this race with retired jockey Rosie Napravnik up for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Champion mare Beholder won this race in 2013 but was sidelined last year with a lung infection. I have no doubt she would have joined Bayakoa and Royal Delta had she run in this year’s edition. However, she’s taking on the boys in the Classic this year.
This is a stellar field of 14 ladies lined up, which is why this is a world championship event. With the recent scratch of Untapable, Peace and War draws in. This is a super tough field, and I could really make a case for about nine or ten of them. The girls that drew the outside posts have it the worst as they will have to make up a lot of ground, so I’m having a harder time endorsing some of them.
I landed on Curalina for my top selection in this race. I loved her win in the Grade I Acorn on Belmont day, and she nailed me a nice Pick 3. Pletcher runs well at Keeneland, especially going two turns. She ran second in her last race, the Grade I Beldame Invitational, where she stumbled at the start and lost to Wedding Toast, who she is going to sit right outside of in this race. You can bet Pletcher will have this daughter of Curlin ready to fire. I love that she drew just outside of the speed in post #8. One more step forward, and she wins. My one knock on her was that John Velazquez bailed to ride Untapable instead. He has been her regular rider in six out of seven races. Rosario was up first time out, though. With the scratch of Untapable, perhaps there’s a chance Rosario will be replaced by Velazquez.
I have been on Wedding Toast throughout her last three wins this summer. She is on a three-race winning streak with her last two coming in gate-to-wire style at Belmont. My knock on this Kiaran McLaughlin-trained daughter of Street Sense is the stack of speed signed on here just to her inside, Calamity Kate and My Sweet Addiction (who actually can rate but can also flash early speed). You also have Yahilwa in post #10 who will be gunning it from the outside. Wedding Toast may be toast from that standpoint, and there could be a meltdown. She stands a great chance, but it will be tough.
I’m a Chatterbox is another filly I really enjoy. She has only been off the board once in ten starts with a race record of 10-5-2-2. Three races back she won the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks at this distance at Saratoga in July over Curalina and Include Betty but was disqualified for drifting. She recently won the Grade I Cotillion at Parx at 1-1/16 miles in September. She drew the rail which isn’t bad in my opinion as the inside posts excelled in dirt routes at Keeneland during the fall meet and especially during the final week. If she can avoid getting stuck in traffic by staying up close to the pace, she definitely has a chance with a rail bid.
I can’t leave off Got Lucky even though her post isn’t ideal. With the scratch of Untapable, I’m gathering that she moves down one to actually exit post #11? Not quite sure, but she’ll be next to the speedy Yahilwa which could enhance her late-running chances. I LOVE that she already has a win over this track in the recent Grade I Spinster at this distance. She beat Untapable and Yahilwa in that race, who were second and third, respectively. Prior to that, she was beaten by Sheer Drama who drew outside in #14 but should move in to #13 now with Peace and War drawing in. Got Lucky lost that race by 1¼ lengths. Pletcher’s decision to stick with the blinkers from last year has really helped, and she is in prime form right now.
I’m going with a win/place wager on #8 Curalina. I think she stands a great chance to move forward, and I hope her odds reflect her morning-line. I will also play the late Pick 4, R7-10, with 1,3/ 4,8,10/ 1,4,7,8,12,14/ 14. I’ll be spreading in this race, and in the Marathon, which is the finale, I’ll be singling the #14 Zambian Dream for Pletcher. He’s taking off the blinkers, and this will be his second time on the dirt after running over the turf. He’s fit and ready.
Best of luck to all of the fillies and mares and to everyone this weekend at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Safe rides to everyone.
The Breeders’ Cup Distaff has an approximate post time of 5:35 p.m. EDT and is the 9th race of the day on Friday, October 30, 2015.
Breeders’ Cup Distaff 2015 Post Positions & Odds:
- I’m a Chatterbox 8-1 F.Geroux/L.Jones
- Frivolous 30-1 J.Court/V.Oliver
- Salama 50-1 J.Leparoux/C.LoPresti
- Stopchargingmaria 5-1 J.Castellano/T.Pletcher
- Calamity Kate 30-1 E.Prado/K.Breen
- My Sweet Addiction 20-1 M.Smith/K.McLaughlin
- Wedding Toast 4-1 J.Lezcano/K.McLaughlin
- Curalina 12-1 J.Rosario/T.Pletcher
- Stellar Wind 12-1 V.Espinoza/J.Sadler
- Yahilwa 20-1 J.Graham/J.Cassidy
- Untapable 5-1 J.Velazquez/S.Asmussen*
- Got Lucky 6-1 I.Ortiz Jr./T.Pletcher
- Warren’s Veneda 30-1 T.Baze/C.Lewis
- Sheer Drama 9-2 J.Bravo/D.Fawkes
- Peace and War 30-1 D.Van Dyke/H.Motion*
*Untapable scratched Tuesday October 27th
*Peace and War moved into the lineup