The 2013 Breeders' Cup Distaff is fast approaching, with pre-entries
due on Monday, October 21st. We will get our first look at complete
past performances on Wednesday, October 23rd.
It appears that the 2013
Distaff is going to be another small field. In the past 29 Distaffs, the field
size of eight has been the most common. At this time, eight appears to be the
largest that the field will be in 2013. Putting together all of the reported
possible horses from the most reliable sources produces only eight fillies and mares.
For your historical
edification, I have put together a chart that gives you field size, the winner,
and all of the wagering payouts from the first 29 runnings of the Distaff.
Leading up to the Distaff
there were five “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge races and three of
those winners are on the list as probable runners at Santa Anita on November 1st.
Lady of Fifty, the winner of the August 3rd Clement Hirsch at Del
Mar, will not run in the Distaff. Emollient,
who once again romped on a synthetic surface in Keeneland’s Juddmonte Spinster
Stakes, will stay away from the dirt track at Santa Anita.
The list of eight
possibilities includes two horses that are also considering the seven-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint. As you can see
from the chart, the smallest field in Distaff history occurred in 1987 when
only six horses went into the gate. On four other occasions there was a field
If all of the potential
fillies and mares went into the gate, here is the field that would include two
from Bill Mott and two from Todd Pletcher.
Authenticity (Todd Pletcher) – This lightly raced mare would be the old lady in
the field at six years of age. She finished second to Beholder in the Zenyatta
in her first effort at Santa Anita.
Mandella) – This three-year-old filly has three grade one wins in 2013 and a four
for four lifetime record on the Santa Anita dirt. Beholder is a “Win and You’re
Close Hatches (Bill Mott) – She notched her second grade one win in the Cotillion
Dance Card (Kiarin McLaughlin) – Dance Card most recently finished second in the Gallant
Bloom at Belmont. She is also being considered for the Filly and Mare Sprint.
Princess of Sylmar (Todd Pletcher) – Her victory over Royal Delta in
the Beldame gave this three-year-old her fourth grade one win of 2013. Princess
is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier.
Royal Delta (Bill Mott) – The five-year-old mare will be trying for an unprecedented
third consecutive Distaff victory. Royal Delta is a “Win and You’re In”
Street Girl (Manuel Azpurua) – She most recently finished third in the Cotillion
and is likely to also be entered in the F/M Sprint.
Wittgenstein (Doug O’Neill) – This three-year-old’s most noteworthy race is a
second place finish behind Beholder in the Torrey Pines at Del Mar.
Next week we will look
more closely at the pre-entries and talk about the Eclipse Award implications
of the Distaff, from Horse of the Year to divisional championships.