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Trainer Brad Cox’s 2018 race and division champion Monomoy Girl drew the far outside post 10 and was named the 8/5 morning line favorite as she returns to the World Championships in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Longines Distaff (G1), which will be held at Keeneland on Saturday, November 7.
Monomoy Girl has done little wrong in her career; in fact, from 14 career starts, only once has she not crossed the wire first: she missed winning the 2017 Golden Rod Stakes (G2) by a neck. She was disqualified from winning the 2018 Cotillion Stakes (G1) and placed second, but she returned to her winning ways in the Distaff next time out. Now 5, the Tapizar mare missed all of 2019 and part of 2020 due to various ailments, but Cox’s careful handling has kept her perfect through 3 starts this season, including most recently in the La Troienne Stakes (G1) against a pair of rivals whom she faces again here.
One of the biggest storylines after all races’ post positions were drawn was trainer Kenny McPeek’s decision to enter his 3-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver here, rather than in the Longines Classic (G1). She earned a fees-waived berth to the Distaff by way of championing the Alabama Stakes (G1), but when Swiss Skydiver necked out Kentucky Derby (G1) champion Authentic in the Preakness Stakes (G1) as an 11/1 longshot, she became the sixth filly in history to win that event and earned a potential starting spot in the Classic. She drew post 5 and is the 2/1 second choice on the morning line for the Distaff.
The only other entry to be given single-digit odds on the morning line is #4 Horologist (8/1), a New Jersey-bred hailing from Bill Mott’s Hall of Fame barn. Much like the pre-race favorite, Horologist defeated several rivals last time out who return to face her here. After winning the Molly Pitcher Stakes (G3) in her first start under Mott’s care, Horologist was third in the La Troienne before rebounding with a 3-length score in the Beldame Stakes (G2) last time out.
Ollie’s Candy returns for a second try at winning the Distaff, having finished fourth in last year’s running. The 5-year-old Candy Ride mare may have just 1 victory in her past 12 starts, but she has hit the board in 13 of her 15 career tries and lost by less than 1 length in each of her past 4. The John Sadler trainee drew post 9 and was named the 10/1 fourth choice.
Despite a game victory in the Spinster Stakes (G1) over this exact course and distance last month, Valiance was made the 12/1 co-fifth choice on the morning line after she was assigned post 8. The Todd Pletcher trainee has now won 3 straight and seems to be peaking just in time for the biggest test of her career.
Sharing the 12/1 morning line with Valiance are #1 Ce Ce, who won back-to-back Grade 1s this past spring for Michael McCarthy; the Zenyatta Stakes (G2) champion #2 Harvest Moon, who rides a 4-race win streak for Simon Callaghan; and the 4-time graded stakes winner #3 Dunbar Road, who was fifth in last year’s Distaff for Chad Brown.
Rounding out the field are the Groupie Doll Stakes winner #6 Lady Kate (15/1) for Eddie Kenneally and #7 Point of Honor (30/1), a George Weaver pupil who has hit the board in all 5 starts this year (including 3 at the Grade 1 level) but is still seeking her first victory since the 2019 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2).
Here is the full field for the $2 million Longines Distaff:
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