No Beholder Means Distaff is Wide Open
Because Beholder's connections have decided to run the electrifying mare in the Breeders' Cup classic against Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, the Breeders' Cup Distaff on Friday, Oct. 30 has turned into a wide-open affair. Ogden Phipps Stakes Challenge winner Wedding Toast is no doubt going to be the favorite.
But there are some knocks against Wedding Toast. Wedding Toast has done her best work around one-turn. The Breeders Cup is being held at Keeneland Race Course where Wedding Toast might have a disadvantage. She could also have a disadvantage when it comes to pace. As with most of the Breeders' Cup Races, finding horses whose form appears to be coming around might be the way to go when looking for the winner of the BC Distaff.
Breeders' Cup Distaff Top 5
1. Untapable - Untapable's form appears to have finally come around. After disappointing for much of this year, the four-year-old filly got back on track when losing by a neck to Got Lucky in the 1 1/8 mile Spinster Stakes at Keeneland after dueling with Yahilwa through very fast fractions. Yahilwa and the Steve Asmussen trainee ran 6 furlongs in 1:11.01. Untapable won the BC Distaff last year under Rosie Napravnik. Rosie pulled Untapable off of the pace that day. If Untapable gets the same riding tactics this year in the Distaff, she could make it 2 in a row. Horseplayers should get fair odds on last year's Distaff champ to pull off the back-to-back.
2. Got Lucky - It looks like there is going to be enough speed in this race to flatter the Spinster winner's closing kick. Got Lucky hails from Todd Pletcher's barn. Pletcher's produced a perfect campaign for Got Lucky this year. She won the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher before finishing second in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign. Her victory over Untapable and Yahilwa in the Spinster was absolutely fantastic. She's tractable. If the pace is soft, her jockey can put her only 2 or even 1 length behind. If the pace is quick, she has the ability to come from 6 lengths or more out of it. She's got a huge shot win the Distaff on Oct. 30.
3. I'm a Chatterbox - Like Steve Asmussen, trainer Larry Jones has a knack for training three-year-old fillies. In 2008, he trained the ill-fated Eight Belles to a second place finish to Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby. Jones always has a top filly running in big races year in and year out. This year, Jones' top filly is I'm a Chatterbox, a winner of 5 of 10 lifetime. I'm a Chatterbox is going into the BC Distaff off a terrific win in the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx in her last. Before that, she finished second in the Grade 1 Alabama after closing ground on winner Embellish the Lace. I'm a Chatterbox chased soft fractions in the Alabama. She figures to get much faster fractions to chase next week in the Distaff.
4. Stopchargingmaria - Yet another from Pletcher's barn, Stopchargingmaria is very good when she's allowed to run fresh. She won the Grade 1 CCA Oaks last year off of a layoff. She won the Grade 2 Shuvee Handicap this year off of a layoff. Pletcher knows that, which is why Stopchargingmaria will go into the Distaff without having a prep. How good will she be? She figures to be very good. The four-year-old filly sired by Tale of the Cat has a 5 and 1 record from 7 races at the 1 1/8 mile distance. She should offer big odds next Friday.
5. Wedding Toast - Wedding Toast could be a monster. But, it's hard to back a horse who goes into her toughest race after only proving herself around one-turn. Wedding Toast, like Tonalist in the BC Classic, might just be a Belmont beast. Neither Wedding Toast nor Tonalist has proven to be be as effective over a track outside of Belmont's. To make it more difficult to back Wedding Toast to win the Distaff, the worst race in her past performances occurred over Keeneland's dirt in the Grade 1 Madison. She finished fourth in that race.