There had not been many surprises in recent years in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) but that sure changed in 2021.
The Japan based Marche Lorraine pulled off the second biggest upset in the history of the race, returning a hefty $101.80 for a $2 win bet.
In the previous 10 runnings we only saw three winners pay over $9.40, Blue Prize ($19.80) in 2019 and Stopcharingmaria ($16.20) in 2015 at Keeneland.
This year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff field will be one of the shortest, with just eight fillies and mares going to post. It is an evenly matched group that includes top three-year-old fillies Nest and Society facing off against their elders that include Malthaat, Clairiere and Search Results.
Three-year-old fillies have fared well in the Distaff, winning 11 times, while four-year-olds have won 18 times. There have been five five-year-olds mares that have won the race. We have seen four six-year-old mares win including Blue Prize in 2019.
|Distaff by the Digits: (last 12 years)
Avg. Win payoff: $17.25
Avg. Exacta payoff: $130.30
Avg. Beyer Speed Figure: 102.6
Betting Favorites All time: 16 for 38
|2021 Winner: Marche Lorraine ($101.80)
$2 Exacta: $1026.60 $1 Trifecta: $4010.00
Winner final prep: Won
Breeders Gold Cup (Jpn)
Runner up: Dunbar Rood
Runner up final prep: 2nd Spinster (G1)
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Bayakoa (1989-90) and Royal Delta (2011-12) are the only back to back winners of the Distaff. Beholder won the race in 2013 and 2016. Monomoy Girl won in 2018 and 2020.
The Spinster at Keeneland is a key race, producing 11 winners of the Distaff including in 2019 with Blue Prize. The Beldame has produced nine winners with the Ruffian and Zenyatta seven each. The 2020 winner Monomoy Girl prepped by running second in the Cotillion (G1) at Parx Racing. Last year’s upset winner prepped in Japan.
13 of the last 15 winners of the race have come into the race owning at least one Grade 1 victory.
Since 2002 the betting favorite has won the Distaff eight times in 20 editions. However, we have seen several big longshots during that timeframe including Adoration ($83.40) in 2003, Pleasant Home ($63.50) in 2005 and Marche Lorraine last year.
Check out the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic Betting Trends
Over the past 18 years there has only been one wire winner, Royal Delta ($5.40) in 2012.
Top 5 Breeders’ Cup Distaff Contenders
Last year produced the all-time high $2 exacta at $1,126.60. The previous high was in 2005 with Pleasant Home (30-1) topping Society Selection (11-1) for a $692.00 payday.
The one and seven posts have been best in the Distaff with seven winners each. The three post is 0 for 36 while the 12-14 posts are a combined 1 for 14. Outside spots have fared well in the past four years, two breaking from post 10 and two from post 11.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has sent out 21 runners in the Distaff with two winners, Ashado in 2004 and Stopchargingmaria in 2015. Steve Asmussen is 1 for 6 (Untapable in 2014) and Chad Brown is 0 for 7. Brad Cox has two winners with Monomy Girl accounting for both. He has started just one other runner in the race, Shedaresthedevil who was sixth last year.
D. Wayne Lukas, who sends out Secret Oath this year has won the Distaff four times with 27 starters.