Naples and La Marseillaise Finally Square Off in BC Distaff

The 19th Running of the G1 BC Distaff

November 5, 2021 17:35

DMR Race #14 $2,000.000 11/8 Dirt

Fillies and Mares 3YO+ 122/124 Lbs

Track Record-1:47.15 (Ecliptic-2021)

Stakes Record-1:47.17 (Millionaire Heiress-2021)

The idea behind the creation of the BC was based on a fairly simple premise: Offer up a huge pile of money and let the horses determine who should be crowned champion in each division.  Saturday’s $2,000.000 G1 BC Distaff is the absolute embodiment of that ideal.  Naples has utterly dominated the 3yo filly division this season at HRP.  La Marseillaise has danced every dance for older fillies and mares and is trying to win a BC race in her second division.  So, the question that has been running through the minds of players in every circle of HRP will finally, and hopefully definitively, be answered on Saturday: “Who is the best filly/mare at HRP?”  While the two distaffers mentioned above would probably garner the highest number of votes, there are twelve additional fillies/mares who will get the chance to compete against the game’s best.  Make no mistake, this is a field deserving of deciding championships; it is not just a two horse race.

History tells us this race will be one by a 3yo or 4yo filly; no mare has won this event in 18 runnings.  It also tells us that since 2012, 3yos have won seven of the last eight editions.  Jerry Garcia Racing is the only trainer to condition multiple winners and four jockeys have each taken home two trophies for winning this event.  All of that history brings us to Saturday; 11/8 to decide who is the best horse in the division.  To settle the debate on the track, where it should always be settled.  Here’s the field for the 2021 G1 BC Distaff:   

 1   Naples (Arindel/E. Jaramillo122): Super sophomore gets the rail for her attempt to conquer a fifth G1 and cap off a tremendous season.  While she hasn’t been perfect this season, none of the runners that finished in front of her in her three losses will be in the gate on Saturday.  For all she has accomplished this season, she has yet to face elders and, for 3yos, beating elders in big races is what makes a dominant season transform into an historical season.  Come Saturday, we find out if she is “just” the best of her generation or is she an all-timer?  Feel like we see something special.

 2   Secret Eyes (Arindel/D. Davis 122):  In her juvenile finale, she beat her stablemate on the square in a G1.  As a sophomore, she has been more of a G2/G3 type; however, when she fires, she usually brings something back to the barn.  She earned her spot in the gate and she should appreciate every inch of the 9-furlongs, but she seems more likely to fill the super/SH5 than the exacta and tri.

 3   La Marseillaise (Witeout Stables/Mario Gutierrez 124): 2020 winner of the G1 BC F&M Sprint has competed almost exclusively in the Distaff division this season.  On occasion she has looked vulnerable; however, more often than not, she has looked dominant.  G2 last month at SA was ultra-impressive and demonstrated that she has plenty left in the tank.  Negative Nancy would point-out the lack of G1 success going this far, but this is a serious, serious racehorse.  Has to buck history as no horse as old as she is has ever won this event, but feel like she has produced too many top efforts to ever be doubted.  Utmost respect.

 4   Sundress (Smokey Stover/M. Franco 122): Two-time G1 winner already this season has the misfortune of being born in the same year as the rail horse, but she is classy in her own right.  Been a bit of a puzzle for the conditioner after the private purchase; however, figs are moving in a positive direction.  That being said, she needs to find a big jump to best this group.  Conditioner has one of these trophies on the mantle at home, but it would be a surprise if she were able to grab the one up for grabs on Saturday.

 5   Miss Steel Mazula (Nakamura Stables/V.R. Carrasco 124):  4yo brings a three-race winning streak with her into this with the latest being the G1 Personal Ensign DH going this same trip.  Trainer and jock team-up often in these types of races and have come out on top in their fair-share.  She looks to have enough early foot to stay close and the distance should be just fine with her.  Still feels like she may be a cut, ever so slightly, below the best entered here.  Minor award is definitely achievable but feel that may be her ceiling.   

 6   Wbf No Regrets (TwinTowersRacing/J. Lezcano 124): This 6yo mare has two wins this season and both came in G1 events.  Maybe not as consistent as some others in here, but, when she fires, she fires big.  Plenty of pace with her so she should be able to get the trip she wants.  She’s another trying to buck the 3yo/4yo trend in this event; however, she will need her best and some luck to contend for more than a minor share.

 7   Power Walk (Mb Stables/Ru. Gonzalez 122):  Sophomore filly accomplished something the rail horse was unable to do when she bested G1 males down at OP.  Unfortunately for her, that April win is the last time she had her picture taken.  Doesn’t feel like the best offering from her own stable in this so hard to get excited about her prospects.  Still, she will appreciate the full 9-furlongs and may be able to surprise for a small slice, but can’t forsee anything more.

 8   Forever Phooey Party (Night Rider Stables/J.J. Castellano 124): 4yo has a single win to show for her 2021 season, but she picked the right one to win as that G1 victory secured her spot in the gate for this.  That CD triumph came when she was tasked with carrying 119 lbs, but she will have to carry five more for this assignment.  She appears to be one that will settle off of the pace and try to make a run, but she will need to be careful giving herself too much work to do late.  She’ll be picking-off horses through the lane just feel like she won’t get by all of them.

 9   Drink Me Pretty (Mb Stables/A. Cedillo 124): Call it a gut feeling, but think this filly is the top threat from the three entered by the conditioner.  4yo had been a consistent running-machine earning checks in her first six starts of the season, but  may have had a mini-bounce in latest KEE G1 effort.  She didn’t run poorly, but she didn’t “fire” either.  Going to forgive that run and believe that she’s better than that effort.  Plenty of early pace to find her a desirable spot and feel like she will deliver her best effort. 

10  Mag Ol (Greyfriars Stable/K. Carmouche 122): Last race is an absolute throw-out.  3yo fillies don’t earn their money beating older males.  What we can glean from that effort is that the conditioner believes he has a high-class filly on his hands.  Has to find a length on the rail horse from their latest encounter, but that isn’t impossible, even if it is unlikely.  She should be able to secure the trip she desires from off of the pace and if she can navigate the traffic/trouble, she should be hitting her best stride down the lane.  

11  Z Command (Smokey Stover/J.R. Velazquez 124): The author loves this digital animal, let’s just go ahead and get that out there for public consumption.  Winner of this event as a 3yo is now making her 25th consecutive start in graded company.  She hasn’t had a monster 5yo campaign, but she has taken down G1/G2/G3 events all going 8.5 furlongs.  Last two starts were poor efforts against the boys that were preceded by a dud going seven furlongs in a G2.  Is she finished?  It’s a legitimate question, but it says here that she fires with everything she has left for one last hurrah.

12  Empire World (Fractious/D.E. Centeno 124): $1,250.000 purchase makes her second start for the new conditioner after a non-effort at SA last month.  Another lass that has wins at all three graded levels, but only one of those came over a route of ground.  In her only 9-furlong try, she dropped well out of it and made up ground but could only reduce the deficit to a length while running 5th.  No doubting her class, as she is a multiple G1 winner, just feel that others are more proven going this far.  

13  Intolerable (Mb Stables/S.X. Bridgmohan 122): G2 win back in May is the lone victory in her sophomore campaign thus far.  She has danced every dance, though, and has five other graded placings this season.  Not sure a different post would have affected her instructions too much as she is wont to be involved from the get-go, but starting from out here does complicate her trip.  Can see a scenario where she grabs a minor slice, but anything more feels unlikely.

14  Laffy Crack (Night Rider Stables/L. Saez 124): Mare has a G2 and G1 to her credit this season so the talent/class is evident.  The problem with her is when she doesn’t have her “A Game”.  Five off-the-board finishes, and four in a row coming into this, tell you that she doesn’t always bring her best.  Stuck out wide for this assignment, she has found success going forward and in reverse at the start, so at least she has shown some adaptability.  That being said, can’t ignore the fact that she has to find a reversal in form as well as her competitive spirit to threaten here.

Final Analysis: This may be the most intriguing race for all of Championship Weekend.  Young starlets, former champions, and tons, TONS of class: this field has it all.  In the end, Naples, La Marseillaise, and Z Command will decide the outcome.  Think they hit the wire 1-3-11.  Congratulations on a tremendous season and good luck to all of the participants in the G1 BC Distaff.



Categories: BC 2021, Grade I, Races, STAKES ARTICLES, THE BREEDERS CUP

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