Breeders Cup Distaff Handicapping Tips

Handicapping the Breeders' Cup Distaff Races

Horse Betting Tips & Racing Picks

The 2020 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is taking place on November 7, at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, featuring eight championship horse races. Strong race contenders for the Breeders' Cup Distaff include Ashado, Dream of Summer, Hollywood Story, In the Gold, Island Fashion, Island Sand, Round Pond, Shadow Cast, Sis City, Smuggler, Society Selection, Spun Sugar, Stellar Jayne, Summerly, Sweet Symphony, Tarlow, and Two Trail Sioux. The best of luck on handicapping the 2020 Breeders' Cup Distaff!

The Breeders' Cup Distaff (Grade 1) is one of the most consistent Breeders' Cup thoroughbred races. Its first 16 runnings had been truly formful, with the exception of 1994. It was a showcase for champions, with awesome performances from classy distaffers like Personal Ensign, Lady's Secret, Bayakoa (Argentina), Dance Smartly, Inside Information, and Princess Rooney, among others.

More so than any other Breeders' Cup race, there have been a few surprises in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. The 2000 and 2001 runnings did go off form. Spain triumphed at 55-1 in the former year, upsetting the heavily favored Riboletta (Brazil), who finished sixth at Churchill Downs. Unbridled Elaine closed from the back of the pack to win at 12-1 in the latter year at Belmont Park.

Normalcy returned in 2002 at Arlington Park with a dominant performance from Azeri (Jade Hunter), who romped on the front end, drawing off by 5 lengths at the wire. For the second time in Breeders' Cup horse racing history, the Breeders' Cup Distaff winner was named Horse of the Year; Lady's Secret in 1986 had been the other. Sixteen of the 20 Breeders' Cup Distaff heroines have been named champion and were all sent off at less than 3-1, eight at odds-on.

The Breeders' Cup Distaff has featured some of the smallest fields in Breeders' Cup horse racing history. Only six started in 1987 and 1996, and there have been seven-horse fields on four occasions. The 2002 running featured only eight. With an average of less than nine starters, the Breeders' Cup Distaff owns the smallest average field size of any race in the Breeders' Cup.

In 2003, Adoration paid a whopping $83.40 to win as the longest odds entry in the field of seven. The 40-1 longest shot on the board, Adoration won gate to wire by a widening 4 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:49. 9-1 shot Elloluv tracked her the whole way and finished second.

The trainer roll at the Breeders' Cup Distaff is impressive. Hall of Fame, or near-Hall-of-Fame, conditioners D. Wayne Lukas (four), Ron McAnally (three), Bill Mott (three), Shug McGaughey (twice) and Neil Drysdale (twice) have all won multiple runnings.

Note that previous Grade 1 success is still a definite trend for the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Previous winners have averaged nearly four Grade 1 victories prior to their Breeders' Cup Distaff victory. Only Unbridled Elaine, Spain, and One Dreamer earned their first Grade 1 win in the Breeders' Cup.

Front-runners and early/pressers have also dominated the Breeders' Cup Distaff. There have been five official wire-to-wire wins, but 14 Breeders' Distaff winners have been first or second at the first call. Adoration won gate-to-wire in 2003.

The rail has accounted for three straight Breeders' Cup Distaff wins from 1995 to 1997, and four victories overall. Middle posts have been the most successful, with 12 winners breaking from posts 4-7. Paseana was able to overcome post 14 in 1992 at Gulfstream Park. Dance Smartly broke from post 10 to win the 1991 Breeders' Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs.

No European-based filly or mare has won the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Contingents from New York runners have been best, winning seven times, while California distaffers have won six runnings. Midwest-based runners have triumphed three times while Canada has produced one champion.

Supplemental nominations have won three times in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, although Bayakoa's back-to-back wins in 1989 and 1990 account for two of them. She is the only two-time winner in Breeders' Cup Distaff history. Paseana, bred in Argentina like Bayakoa, took the 1992 running after being supplemented.

At the 2004 Breeders' Cup Distaff, Ashado bagged the championship at 2.00 odds with jockey John Velasquez. Storm Flag Flying placed second at 4.60 odds with jockey Jerry Bailey, and Stellar Jayne was in third place at 10.30 odds with jockey Robby Albarado.


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