The Breeders’ Cup Distaff

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| 2020 Distaff Contenders | History |Records|Past Results

2021 Breeders’ Cup Distaff

The 2021 Breeders’ Cup Distaff will be held at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club on Saturday November 6th.

Information and winners of the “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series races for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Distaff:

DATERACECOUNTRYWINNER
5/1/21Gran Premio CriadoresArgentinaBlue Stripe (ARG)
6/5/21Ogden Phipps HandicapUSALetruska
6/26/21Fleur de Lis StakesUSALetruska
8/1/21Clement L. Hirsch StakesUSATBD
8/28/21The Personal EnsignUSATBD
10/3/21Zenyatta StakesUSATBD
10/10/21Juddmonte SpinsterUSATBD

2020 Breeders’ Cup Distaff Results & Payouts

Final results and payouts for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Distaff:

POSTHORSEJOCKEYWIN / PLACE / SHOW
10Monomoy GirlFlorent Geroux$4.00 / $3.00 / $2.40
8ValianceLuis Saez$8.80 / $5.60
3Dunbar RoadJose Ortiz$8.00
2Harvest MoonFlavien Prat
1Ce CeJohn Velazquez
7Point of HonorJavier Castellano
5Swiss SkydiverRobby Alvarado
9Ollie’s CandyJoel Rosario
4HorologistJunior Alvarado
6Lady KateTyler Gaffalione

Exotic Payouts:

  • $1.00 Exacta (10-8) Paid: $21.30
  • $0.50 Trifecta (10-8-3) Paid: $131.35
  • $0.10 Superfecta (10-8-3-2) Paid: $179.01

The BC Distaff History

The Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff brings together the best female dirt horses for a championship showdown. The Breeders’ Cup Distaff was first run in 1984 during the inaugural run of the world championships. It is a 1 1/8th mile race on dirt designed for fillies and mares ages three-years-old and up. While it has a purse of $2,000,000 it is also one of the marquee events of the entire weekend.

Known as the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classicbetween 2008 and 2012, the Distaff was formerly the final race on the first day of the two-day event, but now resides as the penultimate race for Saturday. From 1984 through 1986, the Breeders’ Cup Distaff was held over 1 ¼ miles. Hall of Famers Princess Rooney scored victory in 1984 while Lady’s Secret won in 1986. Life’s Magic was the winner in 1985 and was also the Eclipse Award winner for Champion Older Female Horse that same season.

A total of 14 post time favorites have won the Distaff, but the biggest long shot to prevail was Spain (2000), when she cashed in at Churchill Downs at 55-1 odds for jockey Mike Smith and trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Other big long shots to win the Distaff include One Dreamer (47-1) in 1994, and Adoration (40-1) in 2003.

Two of the most memorable Distaff races in Breeders’ Cup history occurred in 1988 and 2016. The 1988 Distaff featured Personal Ensign, who in the final racer of her career and looking hopelessly beaten a few strides from the wire, caught Winning Colors to notch her 13th straight win.

The 2016 Distaff was a showcase of the undefeated Songbird and the great older mare Beholder. In a sensational stretch duel in which the two superstars went head-to-head and kept on determinedly, Beholder got the bob at the wire to win by a nose in what was also the final race of her career with more that $6 million in earnings and a winner 18 times in 26 starts with 6 runner up finishes. 

The 1990 Breeders’ Cup at Belmont Park was one of the saddest days in the event’s history. Go for Wand, the brilliant filly and champion, broke down in the stretch during the running of the Distaff and had to be euthanized.

Zenyatta won the 2008 Ladies’ Classic. She returned in 2009 and won the Breeders’ Cup Classic against males. She is the only female racer to ever complete that historic double. Zenyatta finished a close second to winner Blame in the 2010 BC Classic in the only loss of her career.

Other notable winners of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff include Personal Ensign in 1988, Azeri in 2002, Ashado in 2004, and Untapable in 2014. All of them are Hall of Fame winners.

In other words, winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff thrusts you into an upper echelon of talent. It is largely considered the most prestigious race for a filly or mare to win in the entire sport. The event was even rebranded as the “Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic” from 2008 until 2012 but then reverted back to its original namesake.


Breeders’ Cup Distaff Historical Records

The 1 1/8 mile race in 2013 saw Beholder run the fastest time for the Breeders’ Cup event since 2000, when Beholder cruised home in 1:47.77. But the fastest time in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff history is 1:46.15 by Inside Information in 1995, who also did so by the largest margin in the races history (13 ½ lengths). 

Four horses have won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff twice. Bayokoa was the first to do so in 1989 and 1990. Royal Delta repeated the feat in 2011 and 2012. Beholder was the third to do this having first won in decisive fashion in 2013. She then ran against Songbird in 2016 in one of the most exhilarating races ever and edged her rival in a photo finish. With a win in 2020, Monomoy Girl became the forth after capturing a win in 2018.

Jockey Mike Smith rode her to victory, and he’s ridden a record five Distaff winners. Trainer Bill Mott has also won the race a record five times.

YEARHORSE (AGE)JOCKEY / TRAINERTIME / VENUE
2020Monomoy Girl (5)Florent Geroux / Brad H. Cox1:47.84 / Keeneland
2019Blue Prize (ARG) (6)Joe Bravo / Ignacio Correas IV1:50.50 / Santa Anita Park
2018Monomoy Girl (3)Florent Geroux / Brad H. Cox1:49.79 / Churchill Downs
2017Forever Unbridled (5)John Velazquez / Dallas Stewart1:50.25 / Del Mar Racetrack
2016Beholder (6)Gary Stevens / Richard Mandella1:49.22 / Santa Anita Park
2015Stopchargingmaria (4)Javier Castellano / Todd Pletcher1:48.98 / Keeneland
2014Untapable (3)Rosie Napravnik / Steve Asmussen1:48.68 / Santa Anita Park
2013Beholder (3)Gary Stevens / Richard Mandella1:47.77 / Santa Anita Park
2012Royal Delta (4)Mike E. Smith / William I. Mott1:48.80 / Santa Anita Park
2011Royal Delta (3)Jose Lezcano / William I. Mott1:50.78 / Churchill Downs
2010Unrivaled Belle (4)Kent Desormeaux / William I. Mott1:50.04 / Churchill Downs
2009Life Is Sweet (4)Garrett K. Gomez / John Shirreffs1:48.58 / Santa Anita Park
2008Zenyatta (4)Mike E. Smith / John Shirreffs1:46.85 / Santa Anita Park
2007Ginger Punch (4)Rafael Bejarano / Robert J. Frankel1:50.11 / Monmouth Park
2006Round Pond (4)Edgar Prado / Michael R. Matz1:50.50 / Churchill Downs
2005Pleasant Home (4)Cornelio Velásquez / C. R. McGaughey III1:48.34 / Belmont Park
2004Ashado (3)John Velazquez / Todd Pletcher1:48.26 / Lone Star Park
2003Adoration (4)Pat Valenzuela / David Hofmans1:49.17 / Santa Anita Park
2002Azeri (4)Mike E. Smith / Laura de Seroux1:48.64 / Santa Anita Park
2001Unbridled Elaine (3)Pat Day / Dallas Stewart1:49.21 / Arlington Park
2000Spain (3)Victor Espinoza / D. Wayne Lukas1:47.66 / Belmont Park
1999Beautiful Pleasure (4)Jorge F. Chavez / John T. Ward Jr.1:47.56 / Churchill Downs
1998Escena (5)Gary Stevens / William I. Mott1:49.89 / Gulfstream Park
1997Ajina (3)Mike E. Smith / William I. Mott1:47.20 / Churchill Downs
1996Jewel Princess (4)Corey Nakatani / Wallace Dollase1:48.40 / Hollywood Park
1995Inside Information (4)Mike E. Smith / C. R. McGaughey III1:46.15 / Woodbine
1994One Dreamer (6)Gary Stevens / Thomas F. Proctor1:50.79 / Belmont Park
1993Hollywood Wildcat (3)Ed Delahoussaye / Neil Drysdale1:48.35 / Churchill Downs
1992Paseana (ARG) (5)Chris McCarron / Ron McAnally1:48.17 / Santa Anita Park
1991Dance Smartly (3)Pat Day / James E. Day1:50.95 / Gulfstream Park
1990Bayakoa (ARG) (6)Laffit Pincay Jr. / Ron McAnally1:49.20 / Churchill Downs
1989Bayakoa (ARG) (5)Laffit Pincay Jr. / Ron McAnally1:47.40 / Belmont Park
1988Personal Ensign (4)Randy Romero / C. R. McGaughey III1:52.00 / Gulfstream Park
1987Sacahuista (3)Randy Romero / D. Wayne Lukas2:02.80 / Churchill Downs
1986Lady's Secret (4)Pat Day / D. Wayne Lukas2:01.20 / Hollywood Park
1985Life's Magic (4)Ángel Cordero Jr. / D. Wayne Lukas2:02.00 / Santa Anita Park
1984Princess Rooney (4)Ed Delahoussaye / Neil Drysdale2:02.40 / Aqueduct

Past Breeders’ Cup Distaff Results, Contenders and Odds

2019 Breeders’ Cup Distaff Entries & Morning Line Odds

PPHorseTrainerMorning Line OddsJockey
1 Paradise WoodsJohn A. Shirreffs5-1Abel Cedillo
2 Ollie’s CandyJohn W. Sadler15-1Joel Rosario
3 Street BandJ. Larry Jones10-1Sophie Doyle
4 Midnight BisouSteven M. Asmussen6-5Mike Smith
5 Dunbar RoadChad C. Brown6-1Jose Ortiz
6 Wow Cat (CHI)Chad C. Brown15-1Irad Ortiz, Jr.
7 Secret SpiceRichard Baltas10-1John Velazquez
8 La Force (GER)Patrick Gallagher30-1Drayden Van Dyke
9 Serengeti EmpressThomas M. Amoss12-1Flavien Prat
10 Mo See CalPeter Miller30-1Paco Lopez
11 Blue Prize (ARG)Ignacio Correas6-1Joe Bravo

2016 Breeders’ Cup Distaff Recap

The 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships was held from November 4th through the 5th at the Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, California. It was the 33rd edition of the Breeders’ Cup.

This year’s Breeders’ Cup did not lack for excitement, and the Distaff provided just that in the form of a photo finish between Beholder and Songbird. In the fourth and final race of the first day of the World Championship meet, the battle between Champions Songbird, the 4-5 pre-race favorite, and Beholder (5-2 odds) was an epic experience for anyone fortunate enough to be in attendance.

Songbird led for a majority of the 1 1/8-mile race, leading the pack after halfway through the race, but it was Beholder who made a move in the stretch to catch up to Songbird and ultimately come ahead by a neck in a winning time of 1:49.20. Finishing in third, 1 ¼ lengths behind, was Forever Unbridled.

Not only did Beholder win her third Breeders’ Cup, but she also ended Songbird’s unbeaten streak. Heading into the Distaff, Songbird compiled a record of 11-0, including a win in last year’s 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

“That was a hell of a way to go out,” said jockey Gary Stevens, referring to the race being Beholder’s last of her career. Trainer Richard Mandella earned his ninth career Breeders’ Cup win.

Beholder paid $8.60, $3.60, and $3.00 across the board for the win. She retires with a career record of 18-6-0 in 26 career starts, and earned $6,156,600.