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We’re getting closer to one of the biggest events of the year, the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), which will be held this year at Del Mar on November 6. With the field starting to take shape, let’s analyze the projected early runners:
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Speed: Letruska, Private Mission
Stalkers: Shedaresthedevil, Malathaat, Horologist
Closers: Clairiere, Bonny South, Blue Stripe
Right now, the pace looks like it will be pretty moderate, with only two horses really wanting to go to the front. Both of these horses have a nice early turn of foot; however, I wouldn’t expect them to enter into a pace duel. If their jockeys are smart, they’ll patiently control the early fractions to give them both an advantage turning for home.
Letruska – She’s been the best horse in this division all season long, so she’s the clear favorite. She’ll be tough to beat, but she’s never raced at Del Mar, and she nearly lost last time out at Saratoga. She’s not a slam dunk, but she is the one whom they’ll all have to catch when turning for home.
Private Mission – Bob Baffert is somehow still allowed to train horses and the douchebag has a pretty good prospect with this hot filly. She won over the Del Mar surface 2 starts back, then beat older horses for the first time in the Zenyatta Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita. Her running style suits Del Mar very well.
Shedaresthedevil – She’s done something nobody else has been able to do this year: beat Letruska. She did so at Oaklawn Park in the Azeri Stakes (G2). She also has a win over Del Mar this year, making her a logical alternative to the heavy favorite. Still, you need to demand a price around 5/1 on her before betting her to win.
Malathaat – What a year it’s been for this 3-year-old filly who’s won many of the major races within her division. She’ll face older horses for the first time in this spot, which will be a new challenge, and her speed figures are just a smidge behind the top horses in here. Still, her resume suggests that she’ll have a say in the outcome of this one.
Clairiere – It was nice to see her have her day in the sun last time out in the Cotillion Stakes (G1); however, this is a much more difficult field. She just doesn’t seem to be good enough to win a race of this caliber.
Bonny South – Her running style is not ideal for Del Mar, but she’s always capable of hitting the board at a price in these types of spots. She have very little chance to win, though.
Horologist – She seems to be overmatched against this group, but we’ve seen her have mild success in tough fields before. Still, she looks like a longshot here.
Blue Stripe – She was supposed to make her United States debut at Santa Anita last weekend, but that didn’t happen. Stay tuned for where and when we might finally see her.
It seems like this is Letruska’s race to lose, but we do have some solid options to play against her here, something we haven’t had in her last couple of starts. Malathaat and Private Mission are part of a deep and talented 3-year-old crop, and both look like they could be toughe. As of now, we’re looking at taking a shot with Private Mission, who has a big win over this track already this year and has the running style to be successful over this oval against anyone in her division.
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