HRR

The Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Horse Racing Radar
Valerie Mellema
Valerie Mellema is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Thursday, October 22, 2020

One of the more intriguing races in the Breeders' Cup Championship Series is the Distaff, a race that has been part of the series going all the way back to 1984. Intended to be the greatest racing challenge for Thoroughbred fillies and mares, the only modification in the race has been changing the distance from 1-1/4 to 1-1/8 miles.

 

There are 14 possible starting slots allocated for the race, with eight of those reserved for qualifiers who win particular stakes races throughout the year.

 

This year at Keeneland, a $2,000,000 purse has been established for the race, which is scheduled to start on Saturday, November 7, at 3:54 pm Eastern Time. Going into the meet, 13 eligible horses are listed as contenders.

 

What makes the line up of races particularly interesting this year is the presence of SWISS SKYDIVER the three-year-old filly who won the Preakness Stakes in September 2020. She also has qualified to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic, and no determination has been announced about which of the races she will actually enter.

 

Among the notable favorites in the field is four-year-old CE CE, ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Michael McCarthy. She made up for not racing as a two-year-old by winning four of nine starts in the next two years and accumulating winnings of $805,100. The question with CE CE is her lack of wins in three starts since April 2020.

 

Another well-known contender is four-year-old OLLIE'S CANDY, who has been in the money 13 out of her 15 starts with four wins, six places, and three shows. She's earned a total of $910,151. Like CE CE, OLLIE'S CANDY has not won in recent races.

 

One horse who'll be hard to overlook is HARD NOT TO LOVE, a three-year-old who has won half of her 10 lifetime starts and earned $568,980. Another reason to focus on her is jockey Mike E. Smith, the winningest rider in the history of the cup who'll be going for another championship when he's in the irons.

 

Running for a second win will be MONOMOY GIRL, the 2018 winner of the Distaff. A winner of 12 of her 14 starts, she has earned an impressive $3,386,818. Trained by Brad Cox, her jockey of record is Florent Geroux.

 

Also scheduled to be in line are POINT OF HONOR, BONNIE SOUTH, SPEECH, HOROLOGIST, VEXATIOUS, HARVEST MOON, VALIANCE, and DUNBAR ROAD.

 

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