My Breeders' Cup Distaff Picks

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D.S. Williamson

October 31st, 2018

After Abel Tasman bombed in the Grade 1 Zenyatta, I thought to myself, "Awesome! Now, I'll get odds on her to win the Breeders' Cup Distaff!" But after Monday's draw, Abel Tasman showed up a 7/2 co-second choice to beat favored Monomoy Girl. Big odds won't be forthcoming, not that it matters.

I'm off Abel Tasman to win the Breeders' Cup Distaff on Saturday. I'm a huge supporter of Bob Baffert. I always have been, but even Baffert can't get me to back her after what she showed in the Zenyatta. The more I watch the race, the more I think her form's off the way Arrogate's form was off before last year's Classic.

I don't even have Abel Tasman in my Top 4, but that doesn't mean I'm going chalky. In fact, I'm also leaving Monomoy Girl out of my Top 4.

Going With Big Price Champagne Problems to Win the Distaff

1. Champagne Problems 12/1

2. Blue Prize 6/1

I think the Spinster's the key race heading into the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Champagne Problems, whom I was on to win the Spinster, appeared to have it won before Blue Prize came screaming down the center of the track. What's so interesting is how Blue Prize caught Champagne Problems in the Spinster. In the Grade 3 Locust Grove, Blue Prize was ahead of Champagne Problems before nosing out her rival for the win.

Both are more than capable of winning on Saturday. I give Champagne Problems a slight edge because jockey Calvin Borel likes to take horses up the rail at Churchill and she breaks on the rail. While Monomoy Girl, Verve's Tale, Wow Cat, Abel Tasman, and Vale Dori battle it out on the front end, Champagne Problems and Blue Prize will sit in the catbird seat about 3 to 4 lengths off.

I love this exacta box on Saturday.

3. Midnight Bisou 7/2

She turned the tables on Monomoy Girl in the Cotillion. Sure, Midnight Bisou won that race after the stewards DQ'ed the Kentucky Oaks winner, but Midnight Bisou had all the momentum. She was going right by her rival. She should show up on Saturday, I'm just not sure if she likes running 1 1/8 miles.

Because the pace should be ultra-swift, Mike Smith aboard Abel Tasman must push Monomoy Girl from the outset, she'll have a shot to win the Distaff. I also feel jockey John Velasquez fits her like a glove. I'm just not sure she'll enjoy the distance.

4. Wow Cat 8/1

Chad Brown trained horses don't often fly under the radar. Wow Cat has leading up to the Distaff. It's hard to know why because Wow Cat beat Divine Miss Grey by 3 1/4 lengths in the Beldame Invitational. She's finally come into her own. If there wasn't so much speed in this, I'd consider putting her on top. Closer Midnight Bisou, and pressers Blue Prize and Champagne Problems are too classy, though.

Wow Cat will have a hard time running with Monomoy Girl and Abel Tasman early and then holding off the 3 fillies I've got finishing ahead of her.