2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff Cheat Sheet
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder
2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff
So you want to watch the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Friday but you have no idea who’s running. Not to worry! Here’s a thumbnail of the field in order of post position with morning line odds.
Be sure to check out our 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic Cheat Sheet and come back Friday and Saturday for our Breeders’ Cup picks!
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1. L’Amour De Ma Vie (15-1) – This international mystery mare has made starts all over the globe, including at a wide variety of distances and against males. Not only will this be her first start in the U.S., but also her first start on dirt as she did not get in to the Filly & Mare Turf. She’s a complete wildcard in this spot, but you may remember that Declaration of War ran a game third in last year’s Classic in his first start on dirt.
2. Tiz Midnight (10-1) – The lightly raced front-runner made a solid stakes debut last out running second to Beholder in the Grade 1 Zenyatta. She may have been no match for last year’s Distaff winner, but she did show some grit by re-rallying in the stretch. She has the perfect post for her apparent “need to lead” running style but should get a fair amount of pressure with Iotapa and Belle Gallantey to her outside. If she does display the same grit she could stick around for a piece of the action.
3. Iotapa (6-1) – Show (3rd) – This “horse for the course” didn’t have the best trip last out when she finished 3rd in the Grade 1 Zenyatta behind Beholder and Tiz Midnight. Two of her three wins at Santa Anita have come when she’s gotten the lead early, but with a host of potential early speed in the field she’ll need to break more cleanly than she did in the Zenyatta. Definitely one for your exotics, and with the right trip this multiple Grade 1 winner could get the job done at a nice price.
4. Belle Gallantey (6-1) – She dominated the Grade 1 Beldame last out with an 8+ length wire-to-wire victory. With Tiz Midnight and Iotapa just to her inside she’s unlikely to get the same easy lead that produced her last two wins. To her benefit she owns two wins at Santa Anita and doesnâ€™t need to lead to win. She’s also worth consideration for your exotics.
5. Unbridled Forever (20-1) – She has yet to run back to her last winning effort in the Silverbulletday from January. Last out she ran an OK second in the Grade 2 Indiana Oaks off the bench and could move forward off that effort, especially with John Velazquez in the irons, although probably not enough to be a factor.
6. Stanwyck (20-1) – She’s finished in the money (first, second or third) in seven of her last eight starts but has yet to have a breakthrough performance. She draws well for her stalking running style with a decent amount of speed to her outside, but she would really have to step up her game to be a factor in this crowd.
7. Don’t Tell Sophia (5-1) – Place (2nd) – She finally put it all together for an impressive and emphatic Grade 1 win last out in the Spinster, getting the better of favorite Close Hatches. She should get another favorable pace set-up in this spot and appears to be great form to take that next step forward, and maybe even into a winner’s circle photo.
8. Valiant Emilia (PER) (20-1) – This Peruvian invader qualified by winning the Group 3 Classico Cesar del Rio Suito in her homeland. She stalked a moderate pace and won easily. While it’s likely that she’s facing a tougher bunch, her new U.S. trainer Gary Mandella has done well with first-time international starters.
9. Ria Antonia (15-1) – Fourth – After a bizarre year the return of blinkers seemed to help her put in the kind of performance her connections knew she could. She also successfully transitioned her running style to sit closer to the pace, which yielded a 2nd place finish in the Grade 1 Spinster. Could she pull another Breeders’ Cup upset? Not out of the realm of possibility, by DQ or otherwise!
10. Untapable (5-2) – Winner – Her only loss in six starts this year came in the Haskell against males where she never appeared to be in contention. The Kentucky Oaks winner followed that up with a win in the Grade 1 Cotillion and her work tab seems to indicate that she’s cranked to her fullest potential. She’ll get a good pace to run at but it should be noted that in her only other appearance at Santa Anita she finished 8th (in last year’s Juvenile Fillies).
11. Close Hatches (3-1) – Her four-race winning streak came to end last out in the Grade 1 Spinster when she set the pace (as usual) and then came up empty in the stretch. Was it just a clunker or an indication that she’s currently not up to her best? Only time will tell, but her post position won’t do her any favors.