It's almost a shame that more attention isn't being paid to the ladies of thoroughbred racing nowadays. The division as a whole is starting to lack just a bit, and that's why there are just eight horses who are lining up in the 2017 Breeders' Cup Distaff, the showcase race on the Friday card at Del Mar.
The $2,000,000 Breeders' Cup Distaff is the final event of the Breeders' Cup and shouldn't be missed by bettors on Friday, November 3, 2017. Post-time from Del Mar Racetrack is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. ET, and all of the action can be seen live on NBC Sports Network.
Breeders' Cup Distaff Opening Odds
#2 Stellar Wind +250
#5 Elite +300
#4 Abel Tasman +400
#6 Forever Unbridled +400
#7 Paradise Woods +450
#1 Champagne Room +1500
#8 Romantic Vision +1500
#3 Mopotism +3000
Part of the reason why the Breeders' Cup Distaff hasn't drawn more of a crowd is because of the entrants into this race. The three-year old crop, in particular was tremendous this year.
It starts with Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman, who will break from the #4 post on Friday night at Del Mar. She's run in nothing but Grade 1 races since coming in second at the Santa Anita Oaks in March and hasn't finished worse than second in any of the races. She was beaten out just barely in the Cotillion Stakes by It Tiz Well, the only horse that could have made this field any more interesting than it already was.
Abel Tasman is a 4 to 1 morning line choice.
It Tiz Well was scratched the weekend before Monday's post draw.
Elate stayed off of the Triple Tiara trail this year, but she has dominated in New York over the course of the last couple months. She won the Beldame Invitational going away against a solid field, and that came on the heels of a 5 1/2-length win over a great field that included the aforementioned It Tiz Well at the Alabama Stakes.
With a price of 3 to 1 on her head, there will be plenty flocking to Elate on Friday night.
Zenyatta Stakes and Santa Anita Oaks winner, Paradise Woods is also amongst the three-year old crop this year.
Yet it's five-year old Stellar Wind, the daughter of the great Curlin who is the favorite to win the Distaff at 5 to 2. She has won three straight Grade 1 races and was odds-on at all three. This is the first shot she's going to have against this current crop of three-year olds, though, and it's also the third chance she's going to get at claiming the Breeders' Cup Classic after finishing second and fourth in the last two go-arounds.
Breeders' Cup Distaff Pick
The biggest problem Stellar Wind has run into in her career is that she's had super fillies and mares to put up with. She had beaten Beholder before but couldn't do it in the biggest race of her career last year, and she was up against Stopchargingmaria the year prior.
This crop of three-year olds is great, and we could certainly argue for one of them to ultimately win this race.
But this seems to be the day for Stellar Wind. She's at the age where she should be at the end of her career, but after busting a 105 Beyer Speed Rating at the Clement L. Hirsch Handicap to automatically qualify for this race and following that up with a blazing five-furlong workout last weekend in 59 and 4, we think she's ready to roll.
The fact that both Elite and Abel Tasman are going to run from off the pace is going to hurt them here. Stellar Wind won't have much going out with her, and though she might not be all by her lonesome at the top of the field, she should be put into a position where she has some clean space to work with. So long as the fractions at the start of this race don't get out of hand, we can't see her relenting in the end.
Breeders' Cup Distaff Pick: #2 Stellar Wind
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