Authenticity/Princess of Sylmar – King
of Prussia Stable’s Princess of Sylmar galloped Thursday morning in
advance of her bid to win her ninth race in 10 starts in Friday’s $2
million Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
3yo filly’s lone loss since last November came in a distant
second-place finish behind Close Hatches in the Gazelle at Belmont last
think that was a tactical error on the trainer’s part. Close Hatches
was the only speed in the race the way I saw it and I told (jockey)
Javier (Castellano) that I didn’t want her to get away and to make sure
to put some pressure on her early in the race,” trainer Todd Pletcher
said. “It took Princess of Sylmar out of her running style a little bit.
We learned from it and we subsequently haven’t done that.”
Princess of Sylmar has impressed her trainer with her consistent excellence in every start.
one of those things. She’s just a talented, gifted filly. She’s got an
exceptional turn of foot on the dirt. She has the ability to turn off at
the beginning of the race and relax and deliver a good kick,” Pletcher
said. “What makes her good is all of those things.”
The Pletcher-trained Authenticity also galloped Thursday morning for her scheduled start in the Distaff.
6yo mare hasn’t finished worse than second in six consecutive
Graded-stakes appearances, including runner-up showings behind two-time
defending Distaff champion Royal Delta and Beholder. Yet, the daughter
of Quiet American has trained somewhat under the radar at Santa Anita.
this field, if you’re not Royal Delta, Princess of Sylmar or Beholder,
you could get overlooked,” Pletcher said. “There’s a couple of
exceptional fillies in their like Close Hatches and Authenticity that if
they’re able to run big races, it wouldn’t be shocking.”
Pletcher said that trainer Bill Mott’s double representation by Royal Delta and Close Hatches adds intrigue to the Distaff.
me it’s very much a jockey’s race. I think it’s going to be interesting
how Royal Delta’s going to be ridden and how Beholder is ridden, and
how Close Hatches is ridden. I know it can be a little bit tricky when
you’re in that spot as a trainer when you get two fillies with similar
running styles – how they are going to ride Close Hatches vs. Royal
Delta. There’s probably going to be some cat and mouse going on.
think there are five of the six that wouldn’t be a surprise, based on
their resumes. Then, there’s always that longshot sixth one (Street
Beholder – The
Henny Hughes filly Beholder galloped 1 1/4m Thursday morning at 7 under
exercise rider David Nuesch as trainer Richard Mandella and owner B.
Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm looked on from the Santa Anita apron.
The 3yo filly – last year’s 2yo filly champion – is part of a cast of
six fillies and mares for Friday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at 1
Mandella gave Beholder a four-month break in the middle of the year,
then brought her back to racing in September to ready her for the
Breeders’ Cup. When he did, he united her with a new rider, the
comebacking veteran Gary Stevens.
“We won’t do a lot of talking in the paddock before the race,” Mandella
said in reference to his rider. “We’ve talked plenty about her already.
Gary will give her her head away from there, find a good spot for her
and then go on from there. If she makes the lead, that’s good. If she’s
away a bit slow and doesn’t, that’s good, too. She can handle it and so
Royal Delta/Close Hatches – Hall
of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s tandem of Close Hatches and two-time
defending champion Royal Delta galloped on the main track Thursday
morning at sun-splashed Santa Anita Park.
Royal Delta as the headliner, the Distaff is again one of the most
eagerly anticipated races on the Breeders’ Cup weekend program. Royal
Delta, who led from start to finish last year, suffered a rare loss in
her most recent start, finishing two lengths behind Princess of Sylmar
in the Beldame at Belmont Park. The Distaff will feature a rematch
between Royal Delta and Princess of Sylmar and includes accomplished
3yos Beholder and Close Hatches.
this time last year it was advertised as one of the most competitive
races and one of the best races and it looks like it could be again this
year,” Mott said. “There are three top 3-year-old fillies in there and
she (Royal Delta) is a two-time defending Breeders’ Cup champ. She seems
to be doing well, she’s had a good season and hopefully we can top it
off here. We’re hoping for another big race.”
noted that Royal Delta has a habit of bouncing back from her losses. He
said that he deliberately lightened up on Royal Delta’s training prior
to the Beldame, which may have contributed to the loss.
got beat on the day, but she’s always been one who can come back and
run a big race after she’s had a defeat. We’ve been beaten on several
different occasions, but it’s not unusual to see her come back and see
her run a huge race after finishing second."
the Beldame loss, Mott has allowed Royal Delta to return to her
spirited workouts. She has turned in three straight bullet works, the
fastest of the day at the distance, and the veteran trainer says she is
in top form.
she the one to beat? Absolutely,” he said. “I’m not saying she can’t be
beat, but she is the one to beat. From our eyes, we could look at the
others who are ones to beat, like Beholder. You could look at two or
three of them in there. Then you’ve got Close Hatches flying under the
radar. Nobody cares about her.”
Royal Delta is bidding to match Goldikova’s Breeders’ Cup record of three consecutive victories.
looked great on the track this morning and it seems like she is doing
well,” Mott said. “It would be a pretty feather in everybody’s cap to
join Goldikova as one of the two horses to win the same Breeders’ Cup
race three times.”
Street Girl – Rontos Racing Stable’s Street Girl galloped 1 1/2m with exercise rider Edmundo Cedeno up for trainer Manny Azpurua.
“She just went very easy this morning,” said Ronald Sanchez, head of Rontos Racing.
Sanchez has an idea of how he would like to see Friday’s Distaff unfold for Street Girl.
like to see her sit back behind the speed, maybe 10 lengths back,”
Sanchez said. “At the half-mile pole she should start moving and kick it
in at the three-eighths pole.”
Street Girl will be ridden by Angel Castillo, who was aboard the 3yo filly in her most recent start in the Cotillion (third).
had a problem at the gate and got so far back,” said Castillo, who will
be riding in his first Breeders’ Cup. “If she has no problem Friday,
she will not be that far back. She is a good filly, but this race, it is
Castillo, who also will ride Indian Jones in the Marathon, has ridden once before at Santa Anita.
“I came out to ride a stake last year,” Castillo said, adding with a laugh, “I do good; the horse not so good.”
So, on Friday, who will perform better?
“Both of us,” Castillo said.