With champions Beholder and Songbird retired, it is Stellar Wind’s turn to be the headliner in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) and the mare is the solid favorite in early wagering at Sportsbook at odds of +175.
The mare will be making her third start in the Distaff. In 2015 at Keeneland she was beaten just a neck in a runner-up finish to Stopchargingmaria. Last year at Santa Anita, she had to settle for fourth as Beholder beat Songbird by a nose in one of the most exciting finishes in Breeders’ Cup history.
The John Sadler trainee is perfect in her three starts in 2017. She started the year by winning the Apple Blossom (G1) at Oaklawn Park on April 14.
She then won the Beholder Mile (G1) at Santa Anita and the Clement L. Hirsch (G1) at Del Mar in her most recent outing on July 30.
Forever Unbridled is the current second choice in Breeders’ Cup Distaff betting at Sportsbook at +350. The mare was third in last year’s Distaff, 2 ½ lengths in front of Stellar Wind.
The Dallas Stewart trainee has made just two starts this year. She won the Fleur De Lis Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs on June 17 and then the Personal Ensign (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 26.
Elate is taking some action at +450 in Distaff wagering at Sportsbook. She was dominant in her last two starts, winning the Alabama (G1) at Saratoga in August and in her first start against older won the Beldame Invitational (G1) by 8 ¼ lengths.
She is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who has saddled the Distaff Sportsbook five times including three years in a row. He won with Unrivaled Belle in 2010 and Royal Delta in back-to-back years in 2011 and 2012.
Abel Tasman will be facing older for the first time in the Distaff and is currently at betting odds of +700 at Sportsbook for the Distaff.
She reeled off three consecutive Grade 1 wins this year, taking the Kentucky Oaks, Acorn and Coaching Club of America Oaks, but had to settle for second behind It Tiz Well in the Cotillion (G2) in her final Distaff prep.
It looks as if a field of about 10 will line up in the race, which will be Nov. 3 at Del Mar. Others pointing toward the race include Paradise Woods, It Tiz Well, Champagne Room, Romantic Vision, Faithfully and Mopotism.
Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Breeders’ Cup for OddsShark and his full card reports with selections, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for major tracks can be found daily at turfnsport.com.
|It Tiz Well||+750|
Odds as of October 18 at Sportsbook
The undefeated Songbird has been brilliant throughout her career, winning all 11 starts and by a combined 60 ½ lengths. She will take on her elders for the first time in the Distaff, but we have seen three-year-olds won the race in three of the past five years.
She is the 10/11 early favorite in Breeders’ Cup Distaff wagering.
Beholder already has a couple of Breeders’ Cup wins, taking the 2012 Juvenile Fillies and the 2013 Distaff. She looked unbeatable, reeling off eight wins in a row, but now comes into this race having lost her last three outings.
Stellar Wind, last year’s champion three-year-old filly got the best of her in the Clement Hirsch (G1) and Zenyatta (G1) and sandwiched in between those two losses Beholder ran second to California Chrome. She has won 13 of her 15 career starts over the Santa Anita main track.
With seven wins in 11 starts, Stellar Wind is a real danger to win this year’s Distaff. She has won four of her five starts over the Santa Anita main track and earned a career top Beyer Speed Figure of 110 in her Zenyatta victory.
Getting completely overlooked in the race are a couple of talented Grade 1 Sportsbooks, Forever Unbridled, a smart Sportsbook of the Beldame (G1) at Belmont Park in her last outing, and I’m a Chatterbox, Sportsbook of the Spinster (G1) at Keeneland in her final prep.
Land Over Sea ran second in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) back in May but has done little since, losing her last three starts by a combined 39 1/4 lengths. She is trained by Doug O'Neill.
While the boys in the Classic is the marquee race, the Distaff is the race many fans and bettors are looking forward to the most.
Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Breeders’ Cup for Odds Shark and his full card reports with final selections, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for both days of action will be available at turfnsport.com where you can also pick up the Turf ‘n’ Sport 2016 Breeders’ Cup Wagering Guide, a 38-page look at the early contenders and betting trends for each race.