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Joe Bravo celebrates aboard Blue Prize after winning the Distaff
The $2 million Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) is the premier race for older fillies and mares. Contested at 1 1/8 miles over the main track, it usually decides Champion Older Female and Champion 3-Year-Old Filly. Personal Ensign (G1) and Beldame (G2) winner Midnight Bisou was sent off as the even-money favorite. In to challenge her included 7-1 Dunbar Road, 3rd in the Spinster (G1) after winning the Alabama (G1), and 9-1 Blue Prize, winner of the Spinster.
Down the stretch with Blue Prize on the lead.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 11 Blue Prize Bravo 19.80 5.60 4.20 4 Midnight Bisou Smith 2.80 2.20 9 Serengeti Empress Prat 6.00 Winning Time: 1:50.50 $1 Exacta 11-4 21.10 $1 Trifecta 11-4-9 261.50 $1 Superfecta 11-4-9-2 2,171.20Results chart
Left: Blue Prize heads to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Ignacio Correas IV said, "She's so unique. She was thriving. But it's difficult to say when you have a filly like Midnight Bisou in there. She had been facing champion after champion in the last two months. It's not about my level of satisfaction, it's about the filly. She has beaten Elate and Midnight Bisou in two months, what else do you want to ask of a horse? She's a champion and all the credit is for her. We have been blessed to have her. It's been a great ride. We have great owners who let us plan and execute. But it's all about this filly. It was about the way she needed to run, 4-5 lengths off the pace."
Right: Trophy presentation for the Distaff. Winning owner John Moores said, "I wish my partner, longtime friend, Charlie Noell, were here. But Charlie and I'll have a heart-to-heart discussion about this. It's just hard to see a better horse than Blue Prize. It's been unbelievable. I should have suspected something like this would happen today because my wife made me trim my beard last night. And I had no idea. But I'm awfully glad I did. I don't know what to say about this. This was totally a shock to me. I think the last 20, 30 seconds of that race I'll never forget as long as I live. It's been an unbelievable experience."
Left: Blue Prize heads out for the post parade. Winning jockey Joe Bravo, celebrating his first Breeders' Cup win said, "The trip was great. She broke a little slower than I expected, but she was moving up on the backside nice. I looked over and saw Mike Smith kind of asking Midnight Bisou a little soon. Blue Prize was really running her race. When we turned for home, she went on with it. I've been riding for over 30 years. I win a lot of races. This is not just a race. That was my World Series. You won the World Series!"
Right: Blue Prize gets a drink of water before returning to the barn. Racing manager Peter Bance said, "The greatest thing is this is a small stable. If you look at the numbers you have to compete against with some of the stables, to win this race with just a handful of flat horses is particularly hard to achieve. And the way this horse was bred, the way she was raised, the way she was trained, the coordination between the trainer in Argentina and Ignacio Correas and having her career be successful, it's all fallen into place."
Left: A very dirty second place finisher and beaten favorite Midnight Bisou returns after the race. Trainer Steve Asmussen said, "It took Mike (Smith) quite a bit to get her out it that just left her too much to do. The filly came back completely covered (in dirt) and she's such a champion that she never gave up. She continued to run and I'm unbelievably proud of her. She's unbelievable. There is no give up in her. For her to keep coming under those circumstances is unbelievable because around the turn she looked hopeless. But, she just showed her class. She kept coming."
Right: Third place finisher Serengeti Empress leads first time by. Jockey Flavien Prat said, "She's a filly that likes to be in front. We made the lead from a difficult outside post and she relaxed very nice for me. We just got best by two very good older mares. She ran very well." Trainer Tom Amoss added, "I feel much better after that. Very proud of my horse. Those are two very talented older mares who beat her. I'm very proud of my horse like I said and we'll be back next year."
The field breaks from the gate for the Distaff. Chad Brown, trainer of fifth place finisher Dunbar Road (5) and seventh place finisher Wow Cat (6) said, "Both horses seemed to be struggling with the track. The jockeys got back to me and said they were climbing a bit and were never really involved. Dunbar Road made an admirable effort and we were able to pick up some pieces. Jose (Ortiz) said, as Irad (Ortiz Jr.) did, that they never really got ahold of the track. Dunbar Road will head down to Florida and point to next year and Wow Cat is in the Fasig-Tipton sale."
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