Breeders' Cup Distaff Preview
With Untapable out of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) due to a low-grade fever – and Beholder skipping the race altogether in favor of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) one day later before, herself, scratching on Thursday – this year’s Ladies’ Classic is coming up pretty evenly matched. With that in mind, price is the name of the game in terms of selections.
1: I’M A CHATTERBOX (8-1) is one of the six sophomore fillies entered in the 14-strong Distaff and could be overlooked amongst such a selection. The chestnut miss began her 2015 season by sweeping Fair Grounds’ three stakes for sophomore fillies heading into the Kentucky Oaks (G1), where she found herself running well behind early before rallying five wide in the stretch to be third on the wire. I’m a Chatterbox was gaining ground on the top two, but just ran out of room late. The Kentucky-bred filly was given a brief freshening and returned to post a front-running nose score in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) before being disqualified in that one to second after brushing a rival in the lane. A second in the Alabama S. (G1) followed at Saratoga, and I’m a Chatterbox will enter the Distaff off a nice two-length victory in the Cotillion S. (G1) on September 19. That should set the talented filly up perfect for Friday’s race, and one can’t ignore the presence of trainer Larry Jones in her corner either. Ignore that conditioner with a distaffer at your own peril.
2: STELLAR WIND (12-1) is another of the three-year-olds in the Distaff and could also be missed. The John Sadler charge is lightly raced, boasting a 7-5-0-1 career mark thus far, but has accumulated most of that this season. She started off in stakes in February, taking the Santa Ysabel S. (G3) and the April 4 Santa Anita Oaks (G1), before shipping to the Bluegrass State for the Kentucky Oaks (G1). The chestnut lass earned favoritism in the Run for the Lilies after her romping Santa Anita Oaks score, but seemed to lose all chance when bobbling at the start and finding herself in the rear of the field on May 1. Stellar Wind still managed to rally late for fourth in the Kentucky Oaks, and returned in June to record a nose triumph in the Summertime Oaks (G2) back at her Santa Anita base. She was given another freshening after that contest and brings a 4 1/4-length score in the Torrey Pines S. (G3) into her Distaff try.
3: GOT LUCKY (6-1) has gone 7-4-2-0 on the year, with her most impressive win coming last out when getting her neck in front of Untapable to take the Spinster S. (G1) at Keeneland. That garnered the four-year-old miss an automatic berth to the Distaff via the “Win & You’re In” Challenge series, and the Todd Pletcher trainee could take full advantage on Friday. Got Lucky has really come on this year, also taking the Molly Pitcher S. (G3) and Lady’s Secret S. at Monmouth Park while placing in the Personal Ensign S. (G1) prior to the Spinster. She may be peaking at just the right time under Irad Ortiz Jr.
Longshot: YAHILWA (20-1) boasts just one win this year, with that coming in the Sixty Sails H. (G3) at Hawthorne in mid-April, but the bay mare has earned a couple of nice placings of late. Most recent of those was a neck third in the Spinster S. (G1) over track and 1 1/8-mile distance on October 4, and she’s been firing bullets at Keeneland ever since. The James Cassidy-trained five-year-old just might light up the toteboard to conclude Breeders’ Cup Friday.
I'm a Chatterbox photo courtesy of Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography