Beholder, above winning the Zenyatta Stakes in her final prep for the Breeders' Cup, should be tough to beat on Nov. 1 in the Distaff. (Benoit & Associates photo)
Hard to believe the Breeders’ Cup World Championships are here. The buzz in the mornings at Santa Anita Park is growing by the minute as more Breeders’ Cup contenders continue to arrive in preparation for their big races.
This year’s Distaff, although it’s only a field of six, will feature a spectacular field of fillies and mares coming into this race with good form. Who will win the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff? Here are my thoughts for each of the fillies and mares in order of preference:
Beholder: She will break from post position number five immediately to the outside of Royal Delta. I imagine Beholder will be pressing the pace Royal Delta dictates. She ran a great race in the Kentucky Oaks despite unseating her jockey and falling to the ground during the warm-ups. She pressed a fast pace, took command in the stretch, pulled away, and held on for second after getting passed late by Princess Of Sylmar. She only lost by a half-length. She was given some time off, she has matured, and I think she is coming into this race ready to run the race of her life. She’s my selection to win.
Royal Delta: She will make the race. I imagine Mike Smith will choose to take the lead instead of letting Beholder gain control early in the race. The pace will be hot and I think she will give in at the top of the stretch and hold on for second.
ALL EYES ON DISTAFF
Close Hatches: She looked very comfortable when running off the pace two races back and I think that is where she will be throughout this race. Both of her last two those efforts were good looking wins, and she deserves plenty of respect. She will be sitting in a good spot turning for home but I think she will settle for third.
Princess of Sylmar: Her record speaks volumes. She has eight wins, one second-place finish, and a fourth in 10 career starts. Based on her recent efforts, I believe she will go off as the betting favorite but I don’t like that her connections decided to go into this race not too long ago. It looked like her 2013 campaign was over after her last win in late September, according to her connections, and now she’s running here. Did her training slow down after that win because it was supposed to be her last race of the year? Is she ready to run against the best of the best? Fourth-best for me.
Authenticity: She has only been off the board only once in her 11 lifetime starts and ran a solid second in her first start here at Santa Anita against Beholder. I think she will move forward off of that race and run a good effort. Is she good enough to beat the ones above her? I don’t think so.
Street Girl: She closed plenty of ground after being far back in the Grade 1 Cotillion when finishing third behind Close Hatches. Her form is improving and she does have a good late kick, but I think she is outclassed against this group.
The $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic: I believe this is Game On Dude’s year. He drew a good post position (9) to the outside of some of the other speed runners. He is coming into this race fresh and his workouts have been solid. I think he will get the lead at all costs. Come and get him.
$25 Win on #5 Beholder = $25
$25 Exacta Beholder with Royal Delta and Close Hatches (5 with 3,4) = $50
$25 Distaff/Classic Double: Beholder with Game On Dude (5 with 9) = $25
I will be providing my entire card selections on twitter for Friday and Saturday as we get closer to the Breeders’ Cup as well as my pick four plays. Follow me on twitter @LosPonies
$2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff
Nov. 1, Santa Anita Park, Race 10, Post Time 7:35 p.m. ET
1 1/8 miles (dirt), fillies and mares, 3 years old and older
|1||Street Girl||Angel Castillo||Manuel J. Azpurua||30-1|
|2||Authenticity||John Velazquez||Todd A. Pletcher||8-1|
|3||Close Hatches||Joel Rosario||William I. Mott||6-1|
|4||Royal Delta||Mike Smith||William I. Mott||8-5|
|5||Beholder||Gary Stevens||Richard E. Mandella||5-2|
|6||Princess of Sylmar||Javier Castellano||Todd A. Pletcher||9-5|