Breeders' Cup - At The Races

23:35 Del Mar (USA) (Dirt) 3 Nov 2017

Race 9 - Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (Grade 1) (3YO plus)

Winner $1,260,000 - 8 ran


1m 1f

Fast (Dirt)

Weighed In


  • Trainer: Richard E Mandella
  • Jockey: Gary Stevens
  • Owner: Spendthrift Farm LLC
  • Odds: 4/1
  • Betting Stats
  • Favourites: 3/8 (37.5%) | Level stake loss -15.0%
  • Odds on Favs: 1/2 (50.0%) | Level stake loss -25.0%
  • Median winning price: 3.1/1

The Distaff is the highlight of the Friday Breeders’ Cup Card and, if it turns out to be half as exciting as last year’s battle between Beholder and Songbird, ATR viewers will be in for a real treat.

How has the favourite fared?
In 2003 Pat Valenzuela, one of the finest ‘gate’ jockeys to ride in the US, got the lead early on Adoration and rode them to sleep, his mount reporting home by 4½ lengths at odds of better than 40/1. Other than that, it has paid to follow the money. However, a decent favourite win percentage hasn’t been sufficient to return a profit. 

Run record and class clues
Five of the eight winners here were trained by locally based trainers with Richard Mandella and John Shirreffs bagging a brace apiece and they all had their final preps in their own back yard. Bill Mott has also claimed a pair in that time too prepping at his home track of Belmont.

This is a division where class matters as seven of the eight winners had already picked up a G1 event before adding another in the Distaff; Adoration could ‘only’ manage a G2 and a G3! In addition, seven of the eight winners had finished in the frame on their last start.

Run styles
Adoration is the only winner to have taken the field all the way but it has usually paid to strike from a stalking spot, although super mare Zenyatta took the winner’s share in her usual come from another zip code style!

Age group
Six-year-old Beholder became the oldest winner of this division in our location and timescale when winning an outstanding battle with Songbird last year. Other than that there has been a pretty even split between three and four-year-olds.

This has been a good race for returners and 3rd and 4th from last year Forever Unbridled and Stellar Wind who are both five-year-olds are due to cross swords again.

This race usually has one of the least populated starting gates and the draw has not had a significant impact on the outcome.


  • Pay close attention to lasses who have run well in this previously.
  • Be class conscious – G1 looks a must have!
  • Concentrate on the front end of the market.
  • Shippers do well but locals may have the edge.