Breeders' Cup Distaff 2021: Meet the fastest contenders

Breeders' Cup Distaff 2021: Meet the fastest contenders
Photo: Candice Chavez / Eclipse Sportswire

The Distaff division looked full of stars as 2021 began. It would have been no surprise if Monomoy Girl, Swiss Skydiver or Shedaresthedevil dominated the division and ended up being a short price in the Distaff.

Sure enough, there will be a heavy favorite in this race, but it is not who most would have assumed. Fausto Gutierrez' Letruska has dominated the division, defeating every major contender this the year en route to five consecutive victories, four of the Grade 1 variety.

Is Letruska as dominant as her price will indicate? Based on resume, the answer is a resounding yes. But based on speed figures the field is much more bunched than one might think. Those looking for a price in the Distaff would be wise to take a closer look at the prospective field's Beyer Speed Figures, Brisnet Ratings and TimeformUS Figures below.

HorseBest/Last BeyerBest/Last Brisnet FigureBest/Last Timeform Figure
Letruska103,101107, 104127, 120
Shedaresthedevil 101, 95 106, 106 123, 112 
Horologist 101, 93 106, 101 127, 117
Royal Flag100, 99106, 105122, 120
Dunbar Road100, 98105, 102120, 120
As Time Goes By99, 93102, 98121, 116
Private Mission96, 96101, 101120, 120
Malathaat96, 95107, 107116,116
Clairiere94, 93105, 96115, 115

Who is the fastest? The Beyer Speed Figures favor Letruska, who has notched five consecutive triple-digit Beyers in a row. Though she has the fastest numbers, only 3 points separate her career-high number from four others in the field. Brisnet's Ratings put her in a tie with Malathaat, who has the highest last-race number. There are five fillies and mares within 1 career-high Brisnet figure of each other. Letruska's 127 TimeformUS Figure matches Horologist's career high, and her last race figure of 120 puts her in a four-way tie for the top spot.

Who is the most consistent? Though her numbers are not overpowering, Letruska arguably has been the most consistent horse in all of America in 2021. She will run her usual solid race in the Breeders' Cup and if she is defeated, she will be awfully tough to keep out of the exotics.

Vulnerable contenders: Malathaat might end up being the second choice in the Distaff, but is she fast enough to contend? That depends on which speed figure you prefer to follow. As mentioned above, Brisnet Ratings love the 3-year-old filly in her first race against elders. According to Beyer and TimeformUS Figures, however, she is among the slowest runners in this field.

Value play: Royal Flag might be the best play to upset Letruska. Her numbers are consistent and strong, and she is coming off arguably her strongest race yet. If Letruska is defeated, it likely will be because of intense pace pressure from Private Mission, Horologist and Shedaresthedevil. This late-running mare could sit the winning trip.

2021 Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1)

Top Stories

It has been 18 years since a true shipper, a horse...
Mark Casse had five Breeders' Cup contenders last...
The New York Racing Association has a pair of one-...
Having won more races at a single winter meet than...
Horse bettors face a tough dilemma with Americanre...