In the days leading up to the 38th Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar in California, usracing.com is publishing profiles on the horses in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Saturday, Nov. 6). The profiles will be updated following the post-position draw on Monday, Nov. 1 (5:30 p.m. ET).
By Jenny Kellner
A runner-up finish to Private Mission in the Zenyatta Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita on Oct. 3 was good enough for trainer Bob Baffert to enter As Time Goes By in the Distaff to take on the biggest challenge of all – finding a way to upset 4-5 favorite Letruska and a slew of other star fillies and mares.
With two longshot chances – As Time Goes By is 15-1, Private Mission is 8-1 – Baffert is looking for his first victory in the Distaff.
As Time Goes By, a daughter of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, could be a factor in this one – the 4-year-old filly has won at the Distaff distance of 1 1/8 miles (the Grade 2 Santa Margarita), and seems to run well on off just off the lead. But Letruska is expected to start fast, and the big question is whether any other horse can keep up.
Baffert has won 17 Breeders’ Cup races and is by far the leader in Breeders’ Cup earnings.
As Time Goes By has three victories in seven starts in 2021 and comes into the Distaff off a fourth in the Clement L. Hirsch (G1), a sixth in the Personal Ensign (G1), and a second in the Zenyatta. She certainly seems ready to go again after a 5-furlong workout in 1:00.40 on Oct. 24 at Santa Anita, the fourth fastest of 64 on the day.
Post position: 9
Jockey: Luis Saez
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith
Career record: 10-4-3-1
Career earnings: $455,600
Top Equibase speed figure: 107
Pedigree: American Pharoah-Take Charge Lady, by Dehere
Running style: Stalker/front-runner
Betting advice: Big question is whether this 4-year-old has enough speed to stick with the leaders, particularly Letruska. With such a deep, talented field, it seems unlikely Baffert’s runner-up to stablemate Private Mission can overcome this task, or even hit the board.
Notes: Baffert, of course, is under intense scrutiny for so many post-race positives, with the Derby issue still unresolved regarding Medina Spirit (he won, but failed a post-race medication test that awaits a final decision by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission … Dam is multiple graded stakes winner Take Charge Lady, who ran in three Breeders’ Cup races, finishing sixth in all three – the 2001 Juveniles Fillies and the 2002 and 2003 Distaff … And, of course, American Phaorah won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic following his Triple Crown sweep.
|Blue Stripe (ARG)
|Ricardo Santa Ana,Jr
|Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|As Time Goes By
|Marche Lorraine (JPN)
|Jose L. Ortiz
Jenny Kellner is an award-winning journalist and proud owner of Toby, an 11-year-old prize-winning palomino quarter horse. Jenny was among the first female sports columnists in the United States, and has worked for the New York Times, the New York Post, the New York Daily News, and Newsday. Jenny also was a senior media director at the New York Racing Association, and has been an elementary school and middle-school teacher in New York, and currently in Colorado.