Breeders’ Cup Distaff Field Strong Despite Untapable Retirement

2014 Breeders' Cup Distaff champion Untapable will miss this year's edition as her connections have announced her retirement. (Photo credit: Breeders' Cup Ltd.).

2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff champion Untapable will miss this year’s edition as her connections have announced her retirement. (Photo credit: Breeders’ Cup Ltd.).

The 2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) champ Untapable is heading to the breeding shed but the field for this year’s running of the Distaff could still prove to be one for the ages.

The two headliners for this year’s race are Beholder and Songbird, although it is possible one or both could take on the boys in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

US Racing has Beholder listed at early betting odds of 9-2 while Songbird is at odds of 19-2 for the Classic. Of the duo, Beholder seems more likely to take on males.

Untapable won’t make it to Santa Anita this fall, her retirement announced after her disappointing fourth place finish in the Fleur De Lis (G1) at Churchill Downs on Saturday night.

It was her seventh loss in a row since winning the 2015 Apple Blossom (G1) at Oaklawn Park. She was sent off as the betting favorite in six of those seven losses.

Her best season was as a three-year-old where she won six of seven starts including four Grade 1 races capped off with her Distaff victory. Her lone loss that year was facing the boys in the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park.

She retires with a record of 9-5-2 from 20 starts with $3,926,635 in earnings.

This year’s Distaff still looks as if we are going to have a stellar field if Beholder and Songbird bypass the Classic.

Beholder, winner of the 2015 Distaff has won eight races in a row and 17 of her 22 career outings. She won the Vanity (G1) on June 4 in her last start.

Her next target is defending her title against the boys in the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar in August. A dominant performance may lead her connections to send her to the Classic instead of the Distaff.

Songbird remained undefeated on Saturday winning the Summertime Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita, her first start since taking the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) in April. She missed the Kentucky Oaks (G1) when she spiked a fever a couple of weeks before the race.

She will come east, with her next start likely to come in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) on July 24 at Saratoga. If all goes well it would then be the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (G1) on Aug. 20 and then her final prep for the Distaff would come in the $1 million Cotillion at Parx on Sept. 24.

Even beyond the two headliners the Distaff division is deep.

Cavorting won the Ruffian (G2) and Ogden Phipps (G1) in her last two starts, earning Beyer Speed Figures of 100 and 102. She has won seven of her dozen career starts for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Forever Unbridled had a three race winning streak snapped when she ran second to Cavorting in the Ogden Phipps, beaten 2 ½ lengths. She won her first Grade 1 race in her previous start in the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park.

Curalina, who was third in last year’s Distaff came off the bench at Churchill Downs with an impressive victory in the La Troien (G1) by 7 ½ lengths on Oaks Day, but she regressed last out in a fourth place finish in the Phipps.

Stellar Wind was second in last year’s Distaff and she gave Beholder a good battle last out in the Vanity, running second while beaten 1 ½ lengths in her first start off the bench.

Paid Up Subscriber stamped her ticket to the Distaff by winning the Fleur De Lis on Saturday night. The race was a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In race.

Toss in Sheer Drama, Stopchargingmaria and three-year-old fillies Carina Maria, Cathryn Sophia and Go Maggie Go, and this year’s Distaff could be the most anticipated race of the Breeders’ Cup.


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