LOUISVILLE, KY – Juddmonte Farms’ Paulassilverlining held off Finest City by a neck to win the 31st running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Humana Distaff for fillies and mares. The Humana Distaff was the first of seven graded stakes on Kentucky Derby Day.
Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Paulassilverlining covered the seven furlongs on a sloppy track in 1:23.68.
“She had no trouble with the track and Jose gave her a great ride,” said Brown. “He got her off the rail early, put her in a stalking position, and got the jump on everybody.”
Paulassilverlining tracked the pace-setting Super Humor down the backstretch and moved toward the leader approaching the far turn with Finest City, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, and Carina Mia also on the move. The sloppy track prevented either chaser from passing Paulassilverlining, despite a prolonged bid from Finest City.
“She kind of slipped more than I’d hoped she would,” said Finest City jockey Mike Smith. “We all have to run in it and some of them handle it better than others but that might have made a little bit of difference today. Every time I’d take two or three steps forward all of a sudden I was taking one back. She’d hit a little spot and then it’d be like starting all over again.”
Paulassilverlining had finished third in the Breeders’ Cup, two lengths behind Finest City, and Carina Mia had finished ninth as the favorite.
“She ran well,” said Julien Leparoux, jockey on Carnia Mia. “It was her first race back since Breeders’ Cup and those two fillies in front of her already had races this year. She ran a big race, we had a good trip, and we were happy with it.”
Sweetgrass finished another three lengths back in fourth and was followed in order by Lightstream, Mines and Magic, and Super Humor.
The victory was worth $182,280 to increase Paulassilverlining’s earnings to $1,371,230 with a record of 20-10-4-3. It was the second consecutive Grade 1 victory for the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Ghostzapper, who took the Madison at Keeneland four weeks ago.
“No special instructions from Chad,” said Ortiz. “He said, ‘You know this filly; ride her like you know how.’ She was extra game today, but she’s like that every time. She always shows up and gives her best.”
Paulassilverlining returned $7.60, $3.40, and $2.60. Finest City brought back $3 and $2.40, while Carina Mia paid $2.60 to show.