- Owner / Shadwell Stable
- Breeder / Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC
- Owner / Three Diamonds Farm
- Breeder / J D Stuart & AR Enterprises, Inc.
- Owner / Rigney Racing
- Breeder / Susan Casner
- Owner / St. George Stable LLC
- Breeder / St George Stables
Princess Rooney (1984), Sacahuista (1987), Bayakoa (1989, 1990), Inside Information (1995), and Blue Prize (2019) all completed the Spinster-Distaff sweep in the same year, while Life’s Magic, Paseana, Spain, Unbridled Elaine, and Pleasant Home competed in the Spinster in the year they prevailed in the Distaff.
1. Malathaat (3-5 morning-line odds): Last year’s champion 3-year-old filly, Malathaat has two wins and two seconds in four starts this season and enters this race off a half-length win in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes that earned a career-top 113 Equibase Speed Figure. She’s 2-for-2 on the main track at Keeneland and looks formidable in this spot.
2. Army Wife (15-1): She’s a multiple graded stakes winner who has held her own with third-place finishes in two previous starts in Grade 1 races. But she would be easier to support if she wasn’t coming into this race off back-to-back unplaced finishes in which she was well-beaten against lesser competition.
3. Letruska (5-2): She led from start to finish to win this race by 1 ¾ lengths a year ago to post her fifth straight victory and then did not fire as the favorite in the Distaff. She looked like she was back at her best in her first two starts this year but has gone off form of late. She was last of five and beaten by 35 ¾ lengths in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Stakes in June but most recently ran a much better third in the Personal Ensign, 2 ½ lengths behind Malathaat.
4. Played Hard (3-1): Letruska set an uncontested pace in this race a year ago, but the presence of Played Hard means there should be a battle for the early lead. She pressed the pace and won the Grade 3 Locust Grove Stakes by 5 ¾ lengths at Churchill Downs Sept. 17, and Played Hard has finished first or second in each of her last five races. Her speed figures do not quite stack up, but she is a fighter who is always dangerous.
5. Princess of Cairo (30-1): She enters off a runner-up finish in the Emerald Downs Distaff Stakes and has finished in the top three in 10 of 15 career starts, but she’s never faced competition like this before and would need to improve her best Equibase Speed Figure by about 20 points to be a threat.
THE PICK: Malathaat