The 2023 Breeders’ Cup Distaff Tipsheet

November 1st, 2023

Eleven fillies and mares will square off over 1 1/8 miles in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). Three-year-old fillies won back-to-back Distaffs at Santa Anita in 2013 and 2014 (Beholder and Untapable), but older runners have dominated since, winning seven of the last eight runnings.

Breeders’ Cup Mile Picks

  • #4 Idiomatic
  • #9 Clairiere
  • #6 Search Results
  • #7 Wet Paint

Breeders’ Cup Distaff Wagers

  • $20 win: #4 Idiomatic
  • $20 exacta: 4 with 6,9
  • $1 trifecta part-wheel: 4 with 6,9 with all
  • $1 trifecta part-wheel: 4 with all with 6,9

Breeders’ Cup Distaff Contenders

#1 HOOSIER PHILLY (20-1): Undefeated juvenile entered her three-year-old season with plenty of promise, but she didn’t run well at Fair Grounds and has captured only one of six starts in 2023. Her last two performances, unplaced efforts in the Cotillion (G1) and Charles Town Oaks (G3), offer little hope for a turnaround.

#2 A MO REAY (20-1): Showed an affinity for Santa Anita when capturing the Beholder Mile (G1) in March, but the four-year-old filly has dropped all four starts since. She wasn’t a serious factor finishing second in a four-horse Beldame (G2) last out and is winless from two starts at the Distaff distance.

#3 PRETTY MISCHIEVOUS (8-1): Leading contender for champion three-year-old filly won three consecutive Grade 1 races prior to a rallying second in the Cotillion (G1) last out. Not sure about the quality of competition in her division — she’s never earned a triple-digit Brisnet Speed rating — and the Distaff will be her first start against elders, but the hard-trying filly remains a candidate to make at least a minor impact in the stretch.

#4 IDIOMATIC (5-2): Morning-line favorite has made terrific progress for two-time Distaff winner Brad Cox this season. After recording her first stakes win on Turfway’s Tapeta last March, the four-year-old daughter of Curlin switched to dirt with gusto. She’ll enter the Distaff on a four-race graded-stakes winning streak, elevating her game in every start and registering the top Brisnet Speed rating (106) this year from all Distaff entrants, and I loved her authoritative victory in the Spinster (G1) last out. Idiomatic is a threat to school rivals on the front end, and she has the versatility to sit close before offering her best if necessary.

#5 ADARE MANOR (4-1): Speedy filly has won four straight graded stakes in California and will look to give Bob Baffert his first Distaff win. She’s been able to dominate short fields on the lead in three of those starts, all romping wins, but had to work harder when rallying from just off the action to a one-length score in the Clement Hirsch (G1) two back. The four-year-old filly faces a challenge in a speed-laden Distaff field, but she’ll be prominent nonetheless and her recent form, coupled with century-topping Brisnet Speed numbers, commands respect.

#6 SEARCH RESULTS (5-1): Hard-trying mare lost her first three starts this season, and five straight overall, before turning things around with a commanding win in the Locust Grove (G3) at Churchill Downs. The Grade 1 winner is eligible to keep building upon the encouraging performance for Chad Brown, and the five-year-old has proven very classy when in form, recording six Grade 1 placings and earnings of nearly $2 million.

#7 WET PAINT (10-1): Had three-race stakes-winning streak snapped when finishing fourth as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), but the dedicated closer rebounded in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) two starts later. The three-year-old filly caught a slow pace and didn’t have much impact rallying belatedly for second in the Alabama (G1) last out, but the Cox trainee figures to receive a better set-up in the Distaff and will look to challenge for at least a minor award from off the pace.

#8 RANDOMIZED (6-1): Wasn’t ready for prime time when finishing sixth to Pretty Mischievous in her stakes debut, June’s Acorn (G1), but the three-year-old filly’s form took off in the wake of that performance. She’s reeled off three consecutive stakes wins since for Brown, including convincing tallies in the Alabama (G1) and Beldame (G2) to put her in the discussion for champion three-year-old filly, and the speedy filly is eligible to add to the pace after leading gate to wire in all four career wins.

#9 CLAIRIERE (4-1): Following an excellent head third in the 2022 Distaff (G1), the five-year-old mare opened the season with back-to-back Grade 1 wins. She didn’t fire in the Personal Ensign (G1) 10 weeks ago, checking in fifth, but the classy Steve Asmussen pupil came back and rebounded last year from a fifth in the same race. The late runner appears to be training forwardly in preparation at Santa Anita, and Clairiere looks capable of a strong showing from off the pace with Joel Rosario.

#10 DESERT DAWN (20-1): Winless from five starts this year, the stalker has made progress of late recording seconds in the Clement Hirsch (G1) and Zenyatta (G1). She projects to receive a more favorable set-up in the Distaff, and the four-year-old deserves consideration for a minor award, but her Brisnet Speed numbers are a little light and nine furlongs looks like a testing distance.

#11 LE DA VIDA (20-1): Will look to build upon a non-threatening second in the Spinster (G1). The six-year-old mare has been inconsistent at times, and faces a serious class check, but 1 1/8 miles has proven to be her best distance (4-2-1-1). The late runner offers some appeal for a small share.