Twelve Things to Know About the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Midnight Bisou is expected to be the favorite for this year's Breeders' Cup Distaff.
Midnight Bisou is expected to be the favorite for this year's Breeders' Cup Distaff. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff is one of the original seven Breeders’ Cup races and also one of the most celebrated. This year is the 36th edition of the race, and a field of 11 fillies and mares is expected to line up at Santa Anita Park on Saturday.

Read on for 12 things you should know about the race.

1. Expected favorite Midnight Bisou is looking for her eighth straight win on Saturday. She has won all seven of her 2019 starts to date.

2. Favorites succeed more often in the Distaff than in the Breeders’ Cup overall, with a 43% success rate versus 31% in the Breeders’ Cup. Fifteen of 35 Distaffs were won by the bettors’ top choice.

3. The average field size in the Distaff is just nine horses, the smallest of any current Breeders’ Cup race. This year’s race drew 11 entrants.

4. There hasn’t been a foreign-bred Distaff winner since Paseana in 1992, and just four total have won. This year Chilean-bred Wow Cat, German-bred La Force, and Argentine-bred Blue Prize will try to become the fifth.

5. Nine of this year’s 11 Distaff entrants are Grade 1 winners. The only two who aren’t are La Force, who is a Grade 2 winner, and Mo See Cal, who is making her graded stakes debut.

6. Eight odds-on favorites have won the Distaff. Just 20 odds-on favorites have won in any of the other 13 Breeders’ Cup races.

7. Three of the last six Distaff winners were 3-year-old fillies defeating elders: Monomoy Girl in 2018, Untapable in 2014, and Beholder in 2013. This year’s 3-year-old competitors are Dunbar Road, Serengeti Empress, and Street Band.

8. The average win payoff in the Distaff is $17.60 on a $2 bet. Just four current Breeders’ Cup races have a lower average: the TVG Juvenile, Juvenile Fillies Turf, Juvenile Turf presented by Coolmore America, and Juvenile Turf Sprint

9. Five of the 12 largest winning margins in Breeders’ Cup history came in the Distaff, including the record 13 ½-length victory by Inside Information in the 1995 Distaff.

10. Four of this year's contenders ran in the 2018 Distaff, including Wow Cat and Midnight Bisou, the 2018 second- and third-place finishers, respectively. 

11. The Distaff winner is often named champion of her division. In the last 10 years, the Distaff winner was named either champion 3-year-old filly or champion older female seven times.

12. Jockey Mike Smith has five wins in the Distaff, more than any other jockey. He’ll be aboard Midnight Bisou this year.

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