Stopchargingmaria keeps charging to win the Breeders' Cup Distaff
by Laura Pugh
Oh, wait that isn’t that name of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner, that’s Stopchargingmaria. Despite her name, Stopchargingmaria never stopped finding more when dueling Stellar Wind through the stretch of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
After the race, there were a few minutes of drama as an official inquiry was launched involving an incident entering the stretch, where jockey Victor Espinoza claimed Stopchargingmaria came out into his filly, Stellar Wind, costing her the race.
“I just wish he (Javier Castellano) would have run straight, so we could have beat her (Stopchargingmaria),” Espinoza said.
Both Todd Pletcher and Javier Castellano downplayed the incident.
“She (Stopchargingmaria) drifted out a little bit, the other filly (Stellar Wind) was laying on her a little bit. In comparison to what Bayern did in the Classic (last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic), this was nothing to me,” said Pletcher, who seemed a bit miffed at the inquiry.
At the end of it all, just like she survived the duel, Stopchargingmaria survived the inquiry and was named the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner.
Despite the rough running in the later stages of the race, Castellano was pleased with the trip he received, even though he was a bit farther back than usual.
“There was a lot of speed in the race, and I was looking for a good stalking position,” he said. “I saved all the ground in the first turn and followed Wedding Toast all the way on the backside, and she gave me a good run today.”
The final time for the race was 1.48.98.
Stellar Wind also ran a bang up race in defeat, and trainer John Sadler made sure everyone knew it.
“We’re very proud of her,” he said. “She’s the best three-year-old filly in the country. She beat all the other three-year-olds, so you know, we were against four- and five-year-old mares.”
Sadler also noted that he is excited about the prospect of bringing her back next year as a four-year-old, when the Breeders’ Cup will be coming to Santa Anita, Stellar Wind’s home base.
“That’s why we lightened up a bit on her campaign this year,” he explained. “We know next year we’ll be running in our own backyard.”
The prospects are indeed exciting for Stellar Wind heading into 2016 after a spectacular 2015, but tonight is all about Stopchargingmaria. A very nice filly who spent most of her three-year-old year in the very large shadow of Untapable, finally got her big win, and what a very well deserved win it was.
Stopchargingmaria photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography