When the 2016 Breeders’ Cup is over, it could very well be that the most memorable race turned out to be run on the Friday four-race undercard rather than on the Saturday eight-race main event. The Longines Distaff at 1 1/8 miles on dirt is the last Breeders’ Cup race on Friday and offers a stellar field to behold (puns intended) and handicap.
Barring injury or illness, the Distaff will pit the undefeated 3-year-old Songbird (10 wins and earnings of $2.8 million) against the 4-year-olds Stellar Wind and I’m a Chatterbox and the 6-year-old Beholder, who won the 2013 Distaff and has lifetime earnings of almost $5 million. The Distaff should attract only a small field because of the presence of these formidable fillies and mares.
Songbird was the most expensive of the four in terms of auction prices at $400,000. Beholder sold for $180,000, Stellar Wind for $40,000 and $86,000, and three-time Grade I winner I’m a Chatterbox for a bargain-basement $30,000.
The 1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff is one of the most exciting races in Breeders’ Cup history, as Personal Ensign rallied mightily to catch Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors at the wire. It is doubtful that the 2016 edition of the Distaff will have this kind of historical footprint, but one never knows about a horse race. At any rate, the 2016 Distaff has the look of a race to remember.
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