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Breeders’ Cup Distaff Quick Picks
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Breeders’ Cup Distaff Quick Picks

by Laurie RossNovember 4, 2021

Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) attracted a quality field of eleven older fillies and mares who will travel nine furlongs over Del Mar’s main track.

Carded as race ten of twelve, the Distaff post time is 4:00 PM PT.

Let’s take a quick look at the horses most likely to hit the board.

#6 Letruska (8-5)

Letruska leads the older mare division. She has won eight of ten starts since last August, and four of five starts at nine furlongs. The Fausto Gutierrez may face pressure on the lead, but she has a high cruising speed, and so far, few can stay with her. Win contender.

#3 Malathaat (4-1)

The leader of the 3-year-old filly division has lost only once, and that was by a head bob after dueling through blistering early fractions in the CCA Oaks (G1). The Todd Pletcher trainee has a versatile running style, a high cruising speed, and nine furlongs is her best distance. Win contender.

#2 Royal Flag (8-1)

Royal Flag has never finished off the board in twelve career starts and has won three of five tries at nine furlongs. However, she lost to Letruska both times they’ve met. Royal Flag had the wider trip both times, so she could turn the tables in the Distaff. Longshot win contender.

#8 Shedaresthedevil (4-1)

Shedaresthedevil has a win and a third-place finish at Del Mar, and last year’s Kentucky Oaks heroine has faced the best of the older mare division all year. She beat Letruska’s by a head in the Azeri Stakes (G2) earlier in the year but finished third behind her rival two starts later after a wide trip. Nine furlongs isn’t Shedaresthedevil’s best distance, and she drew an outside post. Exotics.

#11 Dunbar Road (15-1)

Dunbar Road is making her third appearance in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She was a fast-closing third, bested only two lengths last year. The Chad Brown trainee has hit the board in five of eight attempts at nine furlongs, and she should get a swift pace to set up her late run. Exotics.

#5 Clairiere (12-1)

Clairiere is the second-best of the 3-year-old filly division. The Steve Asmussen trainee has lost to Malathaat three times; the last was a 1 1/2 length loss in the ten-furlong Alabama Stakes (G1). A one-run closer, Clairiere has finished out of the money only once in her nine-race career and can hit the board. Exotics.

Breeders’ Cup Distaff Race Analysis

Favorites have won 60 percent and finished in the money 20 percent in the last decade.
The Distaff is a showdown between the leaders of the older mare and 3-year-old filly divisions. Letruska has pacesetting speed to her inside and outside, so she may have to expend energy to either get a clear lead or keep from being too wide. With her versatile running style, Malathaat can let the others wear Letruska down before making her move.

  • #6 Letruska (8-5)
  • #3 Malathaat (4-1)
  • #2 Royal Flag (8-1)
  • #11 Dunbar Road (15-1)
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About The Author
Laurie Ross
Laurie is a handicapper, pedigree consultant, and published author. Her work has been featured on numerous prominent racing websites and she is a reoccurring guest on sports radio programs. She is also a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association. Her yearly publications contain tremendous insight and value for bettors and horsemen. The Freshmen Sire Guide has received accolades from leading trainers and handicappers and her Triple Crown guides are a best-selling feature.