The Breeders’ Cup World Championships are finally here and Santa Anita is once again the home for the global phenomenon. The Distaff runs for a purse of $2 million and is another race on a fully stacked card. Previous winners of the race include Beholder, Royal Delta (Twice), Unrivaled Belle, and the great Zenyatta.
Race: Distaff (G1)
Location: Santa Anita Park
Distance: 1 1/8 Miles
Date: Friday, October 31, 2014
Post Time: 4:35 PT
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network 5 PM EST
|1||15-1||L'Amour de Ma Vie||Guyon||Turf specialist from across the pond who just might run the Turf. Move to enter in the Distaff is confusing. No dirt history and has not faired well last two out. Did finish 2nd three back at the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (G1). Unlikely does not do it justice.|
|2||10-1||Tiz Midnight||Espinoza||Quickly climbing up the class scale in 2014 with MSW win in June, two Allowance wins and a debut last out in the Zenyatta (G1) where she was an impressive second to Beholder. Is she really improving that fast or was the pace the reason for the finish. Definitely one to watch and maybe a flier at a great price.|
|3||6-1||Iotapa||Talamo||3rd last out to beholder in the Zenyatta (G1) but missed the break which hurt the front runners style. G1 win this year at Santa Anita in the Clement L. Hirsch with a 2nd in the Santa Margarita (G2). 2014 record of 3-2-1 in 7 starts. A contender if healthy.|
|4||6-1||Belle Gallantey||Ortiz||Entered Graded Stakes competition in June and is 2-0-0 in four starts including two G1 wins at the Beldame (going away) and Delaware Handicap. Have to like the 1:47:55 in last win. Rudy Rodriguez appeared to have the cure for what ailed her. Although probably in a bit over her head here but then again...|
|5||20-1||Unbridled Forever||Velazquez||January win in the Silverbulletday made folks look. Finished third in the Kentucky Oaks to these. Even if you can throw out the Alabama you still have a bridesmaid against worse. Hard to see it but could be an exotic player.|
|6||20-1||Stanwyck||Nakatani||Will be running down the stretch but relies on the group in front to stop. Last win came in Oct of least year. 2014 form shows her constantly finishing behind others in this race. Does come from the Big Z connections but unlikely.|
|7||5-1||Don't Tell Sophia||Rocco Jr.||She will carry all the buzz heading into the Distaff (G1) after the impressive victory in the Spinster (G1). 4-0-1 in 2014 notching first G1 win last out. Will be coming at the leaders down the stretch. Never raced out west so Santa Anita may be problematic but appears at home on any dirt surface. Could be peaking at the right time. Avoid at your own risk.|
|8||20-1||Valiant Emilia||Bejarano||Took advantage of the automatic birth with a victory in Peru. Never raced on US soil. Add het to the list of invaders for the Breeders' Cup World Championships. Will be one of the longest shots on the board but that hasn't stopped others in the past.|
|9||15-1||Ria Antonia||Lopez||She get s bad wrap after 10th in the Preakness, where should have been in the BES instead. 1-1-0 record in two lifetime at Santa Anita including win in last year's Juvenile Fillies (G1). 2nd last out in the Spinster (G1). Blinker addition seemed to help. There is a chance.|
|10||5-2||Untapable||Napravnik||The soon to crowned three year old female of the year will be facing older for the first time. Finished fifth against the boys in the Haskell Invitational (G1). Against females she is a perfect 4-0 in 2014 including Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Cotillion (G1). Will be flipping post time favorite/ second choice with Close Hatches.|
|11||3-1||Close Hatches||Rosario||One of the horses to beat. Winner of the Apple Blossom (G1), Ogden Phipps Handicap (G1), and Personal Ensign (G1) in 2014 as well as 2nd in last years Distaff (G1) to Beholder. Hard to explain 4th at Spinster (G1) last out setting manageable fractions. Appears allergic to Kentucky with only two poor starts at Keenland and Churchill Downs.|
Breakdown and Betting
Welcome to the wonderful world known as the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The epic final race on day one of the Breeders’ Cup is set to unfold but who will reach the wire first. A few weeks ago many had handed the title to Close Hatches off a stellar run throughout all of 2014. But what would horse racing be without drama or doubt. Close Hatches ensured that with an inexplicable fourth place finish in the G1 Spinster, which was supposed to be a prep.
The two horses expected to take the bulk of the money en route to post-time are Close Hatches and Untapable. Even with the dud that was fired in the Spinster, Close Hatches still won multiple G1s in 2014 including the Apple Blossom and the Personal Ensign. She also finished second here last year to Beholder.
Untapable is the unquestioned 3-YO Horse of the Year just waiting for the crown. She won the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and is 4-0 in 2014 against the ladies. Her only blemish was a fifth place finish in the Haskell Invitational. One question about her is the fact that she has never faced older before. Who knows what they will bring for sure but one thing is certain, you are lucky to see 2-1 at post-time. Besides any horse can have an off day although Untapable seems to avoid the misstep.
With that being said there are two other horses in this field that can upset many bettors on Friday. The first comes in the form of Don’t Tell Sophia. She really came to the spotlight after the impressive win in the Spinster where she knocked off Close Hatches. One take away from that race is the impressive closing kick that she unleashed in the stretch. She had more in the tank and that should scare the field here. She might be peaking at just the right time.
My “wide guy” horse in the Distaff is Tiz Midnight. While she is not the sexy name of others in this race, her form should not be ignored. She only broke her maiden in June but came back with two allowance wins and a very strong second to Beholder in the Zenyatta Stakes on September 27th. If she continues the climb and this race unfolds properly there is a chance the likes of Tiz Midnight could cross the line on top at 15-1 or better.
With that in mind I am going to go for it a little here. It will come as a shock as you will see what I have done with Untapable. Call me insane but I would rather call it looking for a price in a race where many will not. I do not see the point, unless it is a multi-race wager, in going with both chalks on top. i just can’t do it. I will take a chance.
Below is how I would play $20 and $50 at the 2014 Distaff. Keep in mind there is an eye to value here. As always, if you have to scrounge up to find $5 or $10 for the race I would pass and just watch. Pay the bills and enjoy the day. Don’t forget, this is supposed to be fun.
|$1 Exacta Box||2 with 7 with 11|
|$1 Trifecta Box||2 with 7 with 11|
|$4 Win/ Place||6|
|$2 Exacta Box||2 with 7 with 11|
|$ 1 Trifecta||2,7 with 2,7,10,11|
|$.10 Superfecta||2,7 with 2,7,9,10,11|
|$5 Win/ Place||7|
|$2 Win/ Place||2|
Breeders’ Cup Race Predictions
|Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff||Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile|
|Breeders’ Cup Classic||DraftKings Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint|
|Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint||Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf|
|Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf||Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile|
|Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint||The 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies|
|Breeders’ Cup Mile|