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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff Depth Chart


1) Close Hatches - She’s got tactical speed, she’s improved from three to four (remember she was unraced at two), she’s run well at Santa Anita, and she is coming off the biggest victory of her career. No wonder Close Hatches currently sits atop this loaded division. Her big Phipps’ win was by no means easy, but for all the reasons already listed, it’s hard to imagine her anywhere but in the thick of it when the real running of the Distaff begins.

2) Beholder - Is her fourth place finish in the Phipps a signal that the reign of the two-time Breeders’ Cup champion is coming to an end. That’s possible, but back home in California, she remains the filly that everyone needs to knock of the heep. She will get a little break after coming out of her New York trip a little worse for wear. It’s no easy to task to win at the Breeders’ Cup three straight years, especially with this group looming, but taking this speedy champion lightly would seem nothing short of foolish.

3) Princess of Sylmar - Wait a minute. What is my favorite filly doing down at #3? Because of the California factor, that’s why. As good as she has been east of the Mississippi, her one race out West was a disappointment. In fact, she might not even make the trip out this year. Having said that, with a new dirt track going into Santa Anita this year, it could be a far more fair main track for this year’s World Championships. Her two races this year have been typically excellent, and she just needed one more jump or two to get by the top one at Belmont.

4) Untapable - Currently, she stands head and shoulders above her three-year-old contemporaries. She has been nothing short of dominant in her only three races in 2014, and if she can continue that dominance, beginning with Saturday’s Mother Goose, then she will surely be asked to take on either older or the boys, or perhaps both. This older group is a strong one, so I am not convinced she is ready for them yet, but further improvement, and a little more maturing could make it a special three-year-old season for the Oaks winner.

5) Iotapa - I’ve long thought of this consistent Afleet Alex filly as a nice one, but her last run was better than just nice. The Vanity might not have been particularly strong for a grade 1, but her ten-length undressing of the field sure was, as was the final time of 1:47.64 for the nine furlongs. Run at the same distance and over the same track as the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, I am now taking Iotapa seriously as a real Distaff contender.

6) Midnight Lucky - I’m not sure if the nine furlongs of the Distaff is the direction they will go, and she has had only one race in the past 12 months, but still I have her ranked in the top half-dozen on this loaded list. That is just how much respect I hold for the talent of this daughter of Midnight Lute. Right now, the BC Filly & Mare Sprint seems like the more likely target, but if this one does make the field for the more lucrative Distaff, she becomes a real threat to win the whole thing.  

7) Antipathy - The lightly raced and well intended Godolphin filly ran a huge race when a close third as a rank outsider in the Ogden Phipps, breaking up the Big 3 party. It is not farfetched to believe that this result could become the rule rather than exception. She is clearly on the improve, and the daughter of A.P. Indy’s upside is large.

8) Molly Morgan - It’s possible that she just loves Churchill Downs, but you have to respect what Molly Morgan has done in her last two races. In the Grade 1 La Troienne, the daughter of Ghostzapper finished full of run to get up for second, and then in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis, she rallied powerfully to blow the doors off a solid bunch of fillies and mares. Sometimes horses just put it all together a little later, and this one seems to be trending that way. Fast early fractions certainly do not hinder her chances.

9) Sweet Reason - Like Midnight Lucky, she may be destined for the Filly & Mare Sprint, rather than the Distaff, but a grade 1 winner at a mile in her latest, she would only need to stretch out one more furlong for the Distaff. Either way, I have her listed as the second three-year-old filly in the nation, and I can see her doing well at either distance. She’s pointing for the seven furlong Test next, so we will have to wait and see what happens after that one, to get a better idea of her Cup plans.

10) Fiftyshadesofhay - This one has been knocking at the door of doing something big all along, and while she has yet to beat the best, it is not out of the question that under the right circumstances, she can pull off an upset. Late winner of the Ruffian two starts back, and second to Molly Morgan last out, she seems to have returned to her best form. My guess is she is always a shade below the top, but just like some others above her, a little improvement could get her back in the mix. 



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Older Comments about 2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff Depth Chart...

Close Hatches all day if she stays healthy. Stopshoppingdebbie if she shows, will be my exactor.
yeah that's why they call it Big Sandy too
She ran only once at 9f, winning easily by 3 in 1:48 3/5. Debbie could go to the Sprint or the Distaff.
Exterminator: We are talking about the Distaff, not the Sprint.
:sarcasm detected: >> http://www.santaanita.com/press/pressrelease/2010/TedMalloyInterview
...proving someone is completely incorrect and laughingly inaccurate is basis for intervention, t_v.
Debbie won her 2014 debut in 1:08 going wide and eased up late. That is called running a hole in the wind.
If she actually did run a hole in the wind, I'd agree with you TV. I'm not one to put too much stock into speed figures, but her's are for the most part in the low- to mid-80's. Even if that's 10 points off that does not put her in contention for the Distaff. That's why I am saying let's wait until she proves herself first.
Santa Anita’s old surface was 90% SAND. The advantage of the Segundo Sand dirt replacing it is that it a naturally occurring soil rather than a man-made blend.
have seen it so often: horse runs a hole in the wind and just because it was on small venue, it is somehow not legitimate. Said the same thing about the great pircher Walter Johnson because he was from a small league in the west. Happens all the time. This is an individual
horses ARE, they are NOT from where they raced.
Let's see if Stopshoppindebbie can win anything more than a glorified local allowance race before putting her in the Distaff. Winning is easy if you are a big fish in a small pond.
how about stopshoppindebbie for the bc distaff whoo hoo
How can one make observations on something that hasn't yet happened??
Cannot guess what data the FUTURE (when the sand really arrives) will do after the fact.
ANita has SAND? That is news to the groundskeepers
Not like the sand that sprays from a horse's foot
Loose at Anita?....Your powers of observation (that is if you ever take the time to observe before you theorize) are severely limited. Poly on a hot day flies back.
This is completely a guess but I would have to assume a large component of it is kickback and hardness. Kickback is generated from looser surfaces, the tightest being turf and the loosest the sand at Santa Anita. Hardness refers to literally horse hard the track is, the hardest being the rail at Gulfstream and Aqueduct when it is frozen, and the softest probably the Keeneland turf
unlike synthetics which are a mixture of.....God (and some sweat shop in India) only knows.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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