Breeders’ Cup Classic Predictions, Top Picks, Odds (Del Mar)

Breeders’ Cup Distaff Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 PRIVATE MISSION 8/1
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F Prat B Baffert
2 ROYAL FLAG 8/1
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J Rosario C Brown
3 MALATHAAT 4/1
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J Velazquez T Pletcher
4 BLUE STRIPE 30/1
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L Dettori M Polanco
5 CLAIRIERE 12/1
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R Santana Jr S Asmussen
6 LETRUSKA 8/5
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I Ortiz Jr F Gutierrez
7 HOROLOGIST 30/1
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J Alvarado W Mott
8 SHEDARESTHEDEVIL 4/1
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F Geroux B Cox
9 AS TIME GOES BY 15/1
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L Saez B Baffert
10 MARCHE LORRAINE 30/1
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O Murphy Y Yahagi
11 DUNBAR ROAD 15/1
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J Ortiz C Brown

Best Bets for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$10 Exacta part wheel – Letruska over Clairiere and Royal Flag = $20

$5 Exacta box – Letruska, Clairiere and Royal Flag = $30

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Letruska (8/5)

With a possible Horse of the Year title on the line, Letruska headlines a talented field of 11 fillies and mares set for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Saturday at Del Mar.

Already a winner of four Grade 1 races in 2021, which is tops in the nation, the 5-year-old daughter of Super Saver will look to win number five at her fifth different track on the biggest stage of all. She will also carry a five-race winning streak into her biggest test to date. It all began with a win over two-time champion Monomoy Girl in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park and has continued through last month’s victory in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland.

Chief among her rivals in the 9-furlong Breeders’ Cup Distaff include the only horse to defeat her this season, Shedaresthedevil, as well as the leader of the 3-year-old filly division, Malathaat.

Malathaat has won three Grade 1 races this year, including the Kentucky Oaks and most recently Saratoga’s Alabama. A daughter of Curlin, she is only a narrow loss in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks away from being undefeated for her career. Shedaresthedevil, meanwhile, is last year’s Kentucky Oaks winner, who is 4-of-5 this year, including an easy win in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch over the Del Mar main track.

Breeders’ Cup Distaff Predictions

Letruska


It will not be easy, but there can be little doubt that this one is the horse to beat in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The Fausto Gutierrz-trained mare has good speed, but can pass horses if she needs to. That quality could come in handy as there is plenty of other quality speed assembled for her biggest test yet. A winner of 6-of-7 graded stakes all over the nation this season, she is unlucky not to be coming in with a perfect year on the line. The daughter of Super Saver has proven herself against all the best older females in the nation, and has also demonstrated the ability to fight hard to the wire when she needs to. She has every right to be in the Horse of the Year discussion, and a victory here might just get it for her. She is the top pick.

Malathaat

Trained by Todd Pletcher, this extremely well bred daughter of Curlin has lived up to her pedigree and her seven-figure price tag. A two-time stakes winner and unbeaten at 2, she has been even better this year, with three Grade 1 victories, most notably scoring in the Kentucky Oaks. This will be her toughest test yet, though, as she heads out West for the first time, and takes on older horses for the first time. With a strong closing kick, in a race with speed, she is certainly a threat, but as the likely second choice, I don’t know that she offers good value while attempting things she has never done before.

Shedaresthedevil

The winner of last year’s Kentucky Oaks has proven to be an excellent older filly and deserves serious respect on Saturday. In fact, she is the only horse to have finished ahead of Letruska this year. Having said that, in their two meetings, it was pretty clear that Letruska was the better horse. She deserves the shot to see what she can do in the rubber match, but with a similar running style as the favorite, things will need to go just right if she is to pull off the upset. The daughter of Daredevil does have a win over the track this summer, so if Letruska does falter, she could win it, but overall it is hard not to prefer my top pick.

Royal Flag

This first of two from trainer Chad Brown, this 5-year-old daughter of Candy Ride has been brought along slowly in her career, but now 12 races in, she looks ready to announce herself a serious player among older females. A winner of half of her career races, the late runner is better than ever. Two starts back, she got within half a length of Letruska in the Personal Ensign and followed that up with a dominating victory in the Grade 2 Beldame at Belmont Park. With plenty of speed in here to set the table, I expect her to be running strongly down the stretch. She could prove to be Letruska’s biggest threat on Saturday.

Private Mission

Trained by Bob Baffert, this daughter of Into Mischief was well thought of as a juvenile, but fizzled out in her only stakes attempt. Given plenty of time off, she has returned with three straight wins this season. One of three sophomores in the field, she is the only one of three with early speed. That means she will likely have to go up against the likes of Letruska, Shedaresthedevil, and Horologist early. While her last two-point her out as an up and comer, I feel like the early pressure against that type of quality will be a little too much to ask of her at this point in her career.

Clairiere

Trained by Steve Asmussen, this royally bred daughter of Curlin has been knocking heads with the best in her division since breaking her maiden at first asking last October. While she has only won 3-of-9 overall, she has never failed to fire or cash a check. Unable to defeat Malathaat in three tries, there is hope she can turn the tables on Saturday. After returning to a more off the pace running style in her last two, she has shown improvement. I thought her win in the Grade 1 Cotillion last time was her best race yet. She is working well, and with plenty of speed in here, I could see her making some real noise at square odds.

Dunbar Road

The second from the Chad Brown barn, she will be making her third straight appearance in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. After finishing fifth two years ago as a 3-year-old, she rallied to be third behind Monomoy Girl last year. It’s been a long time since she last visited the winner’s circle, but she has been pretty consistent closing for a piece against top competition. A strong early pace would help her chances, as she should be running late like her stablemate, Royal Flag.

As Time Goes By

The second filly in the race trained by Bob Baffert, she finished second to her stablemate in the Zenyatta last time without seriously threatening. A two-time Grade 2 winner this spring, she has been unable to stick with the top mares since then, including a sixth-place finish behind Letruska at Saratoga. Her last race was an improvement off that, but still not enough to consider her a real threat on Saturday.

Blue Stripe

One of two international females in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff, this is the one that could prove more dangerous. A half-sister to the winner of this race two years ago, Blue Prize, this 4-year-old will be making her first start outside of her native Argentina. A winner of all three of her starts this year, she earned her way in with a victory in the Group 1 Gran Premio Criadores back in May and has been training for this race in Southern California for several months. It will be a tall task, but she looks like a filly with some real class.

Horologist

Trained by Bill Mott, this New Jersey-bred will be making her swan song on Saturday. A multiple graded stakes winner, she was a long shot in last year’s edition and faded to finish a ninth of ten. Most recently, she could offer little resistance to the late run of Royal Flag when second in the Beldame. On her best, she is a nice mare, capable of beating good horses, but with plenty of quality speed in here, it’s hard to see a scenario where she is in the thick of it in the late stages.

March Lorraine

This experienced daughter of Orfevre comes from Japan off a win in her latest, which came in August. Since switching to dirt eight starts ago, the 5-year-old mare has won five times but will be tested for class against this bunch. She is the first Japanese-bred to run in the distaff, and while that is an accomplishment in its own right, I can’t recommend her against America’s top dirt females.

How to watch the Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Breeders’ Cup Distaff Race Information
Race Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Grade 1)
Location Del Mar
Time Saturday, November 6 — 7:00 pm Eastern time
How to Watch NBC Sports
Purse $2,000,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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