Co-produced by Andrew Rideout
ABRV’s Chip McGaughey analyzes which rapper the Distaff entrants would be if their talents had been in music instead of racing.
1. Street Girl - Kreayshawn
Street Girl is the longest shot on the board and a lot of folks saw her name on the form and asked - who’s that? To be frank, that’s probably what a lot of people were thinking about Kreayshawn when she first appeared on the scene after a very well executed viral campaign for the “Gucci Gucci” video.
She hasn’t actually won a race since winning at Calder in April but she’s always been hanging around good races since then. She came in third in the Grade 1 Cotillion and fourth in the Grade 1 Ballerina.
While there is no guarantee that she’s actually going to be able to do anything, there will obviously be a few people looking to get a bet on Street Girl. In a similar fashion, Kreayshawn (who is now the equivalent of a broodmare having just had her first child) probably will be hanging around for quite some time as well. Some might say she’s forgettable and a flash in the pan; many would say similar things about Street Girl. Who knows - Street Girl might get the job done and Kreayshawn might still win a Grammy. Which one would you back at 50-to-1?
2. Authenticity - MC Lyte
The oldest mare in the race, Authenticity has seemingly been around forever. You could certainly say the same about MC Lyte - who has been a hip-hop pioneer since the 1980s. Who else has a bunch of her gear sitting in the Smithsonian? There is a lot in common between Authenticity and MC Lyte - especially when you consider that they are both still relevant.
MC Lyte has been active in some behind-the-scenes stuff in the hip-hop industry while Authenticity continues to roll with some quality runs in top level races. Notably, she finished second in a pair of Grade 1 contests at Santa Anita and Saratoga Race Course - a coast-to-coast sensation just like her female hip-hop counterpart.
Authenticity took a lot of time off after July 2011 and only returned in late January 2013. That’s quite a lengthy hiatus for a racing Thoroughbred. MC Lyte took plenty of time off in between a few of her ventures as well. You can definitely see the comparison and while both of them may not be the first thing that comes into your head when you say “female hip-hop artist” or “Breeders’ Cup Distaff participant” anybody who really knows their stuff will concur that both of these contenders are truly live.
3. Close Hatches - Lauryn Hill
Ready or not, here she comes. She’s gonna fiiiiind you. But she certainly won’t take it slowly. Close Hatches is one of the best female Thoroughbreds racing anywhere in the world, and she ranks as a serious contender for the Breeders’ Cup even though there are a lot of other big names getting the attention these days. Both boast an awful lot of talent and both have proven that they belong at the highest levels.
Lauryn Hill is obviously famous for her involvement with The Fugees and the excellent solo career she embarked upon afterward. Easily one of the most soulful singers to have ever graced the music industry, her haunting opening vocals in so many songs always take you back to a certain time and place in your life. Similarly, Close Hatches is able to conjure up incredible performances when she’s at the top of her game - namely the smashing score she put together in the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park.
It’s been unfortunate that Lauryn Hill was in the news recently for all the wrong reasons after being sent to a minimum security prison for tax evasion. Now out and looking to tour again soon, she’s hopefully putting that all behind her. Maybe she could draw a little inspiration from the fantastic Juddmonte runner who also had a major setback when she lost the Kentucky Oaks to Princess of Sylmar. Close Hatches bounced back in a big way and came in second in the Acorn Stakes before rattling off a pair of Grade 1 victories. Some people may even forget that Close Hatches is running in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff - and some people might forget that Lauryn Hill is still out there touring. Both are unabashed geniuses.
4. Royal Delta - Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah made a big switch toward a more soulful vibe in her records back in 2007, and Royal Delta pulled off a similar switch to great success when she began focusing on front-running trips instead of rating from off the pace. We saw her win with a tracking trip in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic back at Churchill Downs and then pull off a front-running trip last year to win it at Santa Anita. Queen Latifah and Royal Delta are both deserving of accolades for their versatility and the continued ability to raise their game when it’s necessary.
The undisputed grand ladies of both horse racing and hip-hop have a lot more in common than just their status at the top of the game. While pretty much everybody knows Queen Latifah and is more than familiar with her work in television and movies, it’s pretty easy to forget she used to have a sitcom on Fox back in the mid-90s. Royal Delta, the top mare in America, is still waiting for her prime-time debut but will be more than ready to pull off another big victory at Santa Anita in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.At the end of the day, both of these respected ladies have earned everything they’ve received and are blazing trails for the generations to come after them.
5. Beholder - Nicki Minaj
You can tell that neither of these two really care what anybody thinks about them as it’s pretty obvious that they both just put themselves out there and let everyone else deal with it. Beholder’s body language on the racetrack shows that she’s every bit the quirky, confident and off-the-wall character that her hip-hop counterpart seems to be.Nikki Minaj and Beholder are both young, quirky females who are doing their best not just to take over their respective games, but to change them up entirely. Nikki Minaj songs don’t sound like anybody else’s tracks, she is an out-and-out specialist at what she does and her off-the-wall approach to music matches up pretty well with Beholder and her unique approach to the racetrack.
Even when they aren’t at their best, they always seem be doing something new and innovative. There are some people (and horses) that always seem to find a way to win - and both of these ladies have plenty of upside as they move forward with their careers.
6. Princess of Sylmar - Beyonce
Beyonce is widely considered to be the current reigning queen of hip-hop after forging a career that owes an awful lot of credit to her innate talent and also the incredible dedication of the team behind her. Beyonce’s parents took a very big interest in her career from an early age and they were one of the key reasons for the outstanding level of success that she has achieved. Princess of Sylmar is in a similar situation with an incredible team behind her helping her to find her best.
Princess of Sylmar rocketed onto the scene when she captured the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks in a scintillating performance at Churchill Downs. She then followed that up with a steady stream of Grade 1 hits in the Coaching Club American Oaks, the Alabama Stakes and the Beldame Invitational Stakes, in which she conquered Royal Delta. When it really comes down to it, she just keeps putting out awesome performances. Similar to Mrs. Jay-Z.
Not only have both of these ladies risen to the very top of their respective games at a very young age, they both look set to move forward and produce even more incredible work in the coming years. Why stop moving when you’re at the top? You’ve got to push it forward. Princess of Sylmar and Beyonce have both carved out reputations for their star power, attitude and genuine class. Both will be playing in front of packed houses for years to come.