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The 2018 Breeders’ Cup Longines Distaff (G1) champion Monomoy Girl tops the list of 11 pre-entries for the 2020 edition, which features several of America’s top dirt female routers, carries a $2 million purse, and will be one of nine Breeders’ Cup World Championship events on Saturday, November 7, at Keeneland.
Monomoy Girl ended her near-perfect 3-year-old season by capturing the Distaff when it was held at Churchill Downs, then missed 18 months with various ailments before returning with a strong victory there this past May 16. Follow-up scores in the Ruffian Stakes (G2) and the La Troienne Stakes (G1) have kept the now 5-year-old at the top of her game as she seeks to become the fourth repeat winner in race history. Though 6 of her 12 career victories came at Churchill Downs, she did win her lone prior Keeneland attempt: the 2018 Ashland Stakes (G1).
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has won the Longines Distaff more times (5) than any other conditioner, and he has 2 pre-entered for the 2020 edition. Horologist’s connections supplemented the New Jersey-bred 4-year-old into the field in order to take advantage of the fees-waived berth that she earned for winning the Beldame Stakes (G2) last time out, her second graded stakes score this year. Harvey’s Lil Goil made the Longines Distaff her second preference in case she fails to draw into the Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf. The 3-year-old daughter of 2015 Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Longines Classic (G1) champion American Pharoah won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (G1) over the local lawn on October 10 but also has a pair of dirt wins to her name, including the Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct in February.
Despite toppling males in the Preakness Stakes (G1) last time out to earn her fees-waived berth in the Longines Classic, Swiss Skydiver has this race listed as her first preference. The Kenny McPeek trainee has 5 graded stakes wins on her resume, each at a different track and with a different rider aboard (including in the Preakness). The 3-year-old filly has done well at Keeneland in the past, finishing a strong second against males in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) over this course and distance in July.
Just 3/4 of a length separated the top two finishers in October’s Spinster Stakes (G1), the local “Win and You’re In” prep for the Longines Distaff, so it is no surprise that both the winner (Valiance) and the runner-up (Ollie’s Candy) return for a rematch. Valiance has a 3-race win streak that began in July and has only lost twice in 8 career starts, while Ollie’s Candy will try to improve upon her fourth-place finish in the 2019 Longines Distaff while also seeking her first victory since July 2019.
Lady Kate – fourth in the Spinster – also made the pre-entries list, as did Ce Ce, Dunbar Road, Harvest Moon, and Point of Honor.
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