Meet the 2022 Breeders' Cup Distaff contenders

November 3rd, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson takes a horse-by-horse look at pre-entries for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland, exploring the pros and cons of each contender.

KILROY: Top 10 Breeders' Cup Distaffs of all time

Awake At Midnyte finishing second in the Santa Ynez (G2) at Santa Anita (Photo by Benoit Photo)

Awake At Midnyte

Pros: Three-year-old filly exits a career-best runner-up effort in the Zenyatta (G2) against older rivals.

Cons: She’s the only filly in the Distaff pre-entries without a Grade 1 win (or any graded win) to her credit.

Blue Stripe winning the Santa Margarita (G2) at Santa Anita (Photo by Benoit Photo)

Blue Stripe

Pros: Improving Argentinean-bred mare achieved her signature victory in the Clement L. Hirsch (G1) last time out.

Cons: She finished seventh in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Distaff and hasn’t yet beat a field of the caliber she’ll face at Keeneland.

Clairiere winning the Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds (Photo by Hodges Photography)


Pros: Accomplished four-year-old defeated Malathaat in both the Ogden Phipps (G1) and Shuvee (G2) during the spring and summer.

Cons: She never factored when finishing last behind Malathaat in the Personal Ensign (G1), her most recent start.

Malathaat winning the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland (Photo by Coady Photography)


Pros: Last year’s champion three-year-old filly exits consecutive victories against tough competition in the Personal Ensign and Spinster (G1). She’s also 3-for-3 at Keeneland.

Cons: She lost twice to Clairiere earlier this year.

Nest winning the Alabama (G1) at Saratoga (Photo by Coglianese Photos)


Pros: Standout sophomore filly has been on fire with blowout victories in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), Alabama (G1), and Beldame (G2). She also won the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland during the spring.

Cons: She’s primarily beaten fellow three-year-olds and is facing her toughest test to date in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

RELATED: Nest comes rolling into the Breeders' Cup Distaff

Search Results winning the Busher S. at Aqueduct (Photo by Joe Labozzetta/Coglianese Photos)

Search Results

Pros: The 2021 Acorn (G1) winner finished just half a length behind Malathaat when second in the Personal Ensign, her most recent start.

Cons: She’s finished behind Malathaat in all three of their meetings.

Secret Oath winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs (Photo by

Secret Oath

Pros: Talented sophomore filly defeated Nest by two lengths in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) during the spring.

Cons: Her recent form hasn’t been as strong, and she finished well behind Nest in both the Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama.

RELATED: Secret Oath parlays perfect trip into Kentucky Oaks glory

Society winning the Cotillion (G1) at Parx Racing (Photo By Nikki Sherman/EQUI-PHOTO)


Pros: Once-beaten filly boasts a 5-for-6 record highlighted by recent runaway victories in the Charles Town Oaks (G3) and Cotillion (G1).

Cons: Her lone defeat came in the Coaching Club American Oaks, where she finished 17 3/4 lengths behind Nest.