Breeders Cup Distaff Horse Racing Longshot Picks
Breeders Cup Distaff – Odds To Win
In another who’s who type of year among the distaffers, the conversation has to start with Songbird who has lost just once in her 14-race career – a nose defeat in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
While Songbird is the one to beat, handicappers have plenty of reason to question the superstar four year-old despite her resume. In 2017 Songbird has won a pair of grade 1 races – the Ogden Phipps and Delaware Handicap – but appeared to labor in both against fields she towered over on paper, leaving some to question whether she’s the same brilliant horse she was as a three year-old. Adding to the intrigue of the 2017 BC Distaff is the quality of the rest of the field.
While 9/4 may seem too short a price on Songbird, the big mare is certainly entitled to progress off her two wins this year and may be peaking for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer by the time fall rolls around. In a field full of parity, players should keep in mind that waiting to place a bet on race day isn’t a bad plan as it seems unlikely there will be a heavy betting favorite.
Of the six contenders listed, Forever Unbridled and Abel Tasman might have the most upside as the former returned from a lengthy layoff with an impressive win in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Stakes in June at Churchill Downs and the latter has been a buzzsaw in her last two starts, winning the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and backing that performance up with a dominating win in Acorn.
Stellar Wind has been an elite horse since her three year-old season and has consistently recorded Beyer Speed Figures surpassing the rest of the contenders. If not for a poor break from the gate in the 2016 Distaff, Stellar Wind would have likely been right on the wire with Songbird and Beholder. There’s a valid argument to be made that Stellar Wind is the most consistent and talented runner in this field and may only need a clean trip to capture the 2017 BC Distaff.
Breeders’ Cup Distaff 2017 Betting
Three year-olds Unique Bella and Paradise Woods are long on talent and promise, but short on reliability in terms of taking either in a future wager.
Unique Bella looked to be on a collision course with the Kentucky Oaks last spring, rolling through a series of southern California stakes races before being sidelined with an injury. She is a freaky talent and is working towards a mid-summer return to the races, but bettors will have to be cautious before taking a short price on a filly who will have to prove she’s back to optimal form.
Paradise Woods dropped plenty of jaws in April, winning the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks by a record-breaking 11 3/4-lengths and earning an other-worldly 108 Beyer Speed Figure in a race where Abel Tasman ran second. Paradise Woods’ stock, however, took a hit when she faded badly in the Kentucky Oaks, but it should be noted that she was beset by a multitude of problems that day including a sloppy track and a wicked pace duel. She missed some training after the Oaks due to a minor injury and will be another horse to follow closely throughout the summer and early fall.
Will a fat price isn’t in the cards, Stellar Wind is our early pick for the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. After just missing a victory as a three year-old in 2015 and suffering some tough luck in last year’s renewal of the Distaff, Stellar Wind is a deserving mare and has continued to hold her form nicely in a pair of 2017 starts. Furthermore, she has shown an affinity for the Del Mar track winning both career starts there, including the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch last year. We like 9/2 in the futures as Stellar Wind has been very physically sound and dependable throughout her sparkling career.
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