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Breeders Cup Distaff preview

It's Breeders' Cup weekend at the fabulous Santa Anita racecourse in California. Regular American racing contributor Jon da Silva, @creamontop, attacks the Distaff. Which to people outside the inner circle of the racing industry, means it is restricted to female horses.

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Breeders Cup Distaff (& others snippets)

At the Breeders Cup it's frustrating that the state of the track enters the picture. On Turf when the clerk is not inbred or a drunk this is obvious from the going description. However in addition to going changes Dirt tracks can be speed favouring i.e. front runners never come back or closer favouring or even fair. The appearance of these biases can also be an illusion based on of cognitive failure - "my bet lost because of a speed-favouring track" feels better than "I backed that nag with no speed who closed slower than Per Mertesacker"

Last year when Goldencents led all the way in the Mile it was said to be a "Golden Highway" albeit closer Golden Ticket was 2nd and they crawled home in plodding fractions. A front runner favouring track does not necessarily mean it will produce fast times of course just to confuse further. However by day two of the meeting anyone backing biases would have been skint. Point is that some things are beyond previews and control. The track will also be watered and raked during the meeting. I would marginally favour speed or more accurately prominence and accept I might be wrong or perceived as wrong - also Santa Anita is a relative express way even by US standards on turf and dirt.

Distaff Field 1m 1/8 -> 9 furlongs to us Brits
(1800m for those not stuck in the Dark Ages with imperial measurements!)

L'Amour de Ma Vie
Turf horse Turf bred. Probably has a price to win, your guess as good as mine. Handles synthetics. This is dirt. Toss.

Tiz Midnight
Brisnet have as a pure front runner with early tap. Timeform suggest Close Hatches will out run her early. Ran Beholder the reigning champ to a 3/4 length last time rallying when passed after leading at the early calls. Iotapa was third 3L+ back. Only seven lifetime races. If they rate Close Hatches interesting.

Iotapa
Ran a big figure three runs back when allowed an easy lead but with Tiz Midnight and Close Hatches that will probably not happen.

Belle Gallantry
Won five of last seven. Lost the two where she faced Close Hatches. Her big figures [Brisnet] have been when leading all the way which she has little chance of here.

Unbridled Forever
Not won a graded race and barely got within 10 lengths of Untapable twice earlier in the year. Toss.

Stanwyck
Finished behind most of the field and has not won for seven starts. Toss

Don't Tell Sophia
Mopped up after Close Hatches stopped at Keeneland in the Spinster. Does not have the figures of some but if they die up front the most likely beneficiary especially with 11 wins from 22 with that style on dirt. Won 4 of 5 this year only beaten on Wet Fast dirt by Close Hatches.

Valiant Emilia
Peruvian horse. Good horse in Peru. Your guess as good as mine. OK, according to Timeform US ran 10 furlongs on fast dirt in 2:09, unless they ran up the Eiger I can pass. Toss.

Ria Antonia
In Blinkers last time harassed Close Hatches till that one blew up and still got second. More in piece on Close Hatches.

Untapable
The queen of the first half of the year. Since then beaten against colts in a race handed to Bayern long before the end like the Bundesliga title. Then a win in the Cotillion which could be viewed as a prep or mildly disappointing off a perfect trip. Not raced outside 3yo company.

Close Hatches
The obvious horse but for her run last time out. If you read Timeform US she battled through unbelievable fractions and ran a decent figure. Brisnet suggest she ran a poor-un. The presence of Ria Antonia make me favour latter view. That does not rule her out here but makes a bet problematic.

Conclusion

At UK best price of 9s Don't Tell Sophia is my bet. If people start talking golden highways and front runners paradise then Tiz Midnight at 10s would be a bet. However assuming a fairish track Don't Tell Sophia it is. You may like to put her under and over Tiz Midnight and Close Hatches in exotics. Me I am a straight win man....

1pt win Don't Tell Sophia.

Also

For those less than happy to wait for 2335 GMT for their bets I also like

Ring Weekend in the Twilight at 20:10 Impressive at Belmont and 7/2 General

War Envoy who I wanted to hate but had he won a couple of noddy Dundalk races to a similar rating rather than going close in Group races I doubt you'd see the 11 in 11/2 Juv Turf 21:25 SA

Dirt Mile is really a race to watch to see how the closers get along for Sophia but if they have a prayer Tapiture best of the closers here and Golden Ticket big price for exotics. 22:05 SA

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