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Oisin Murphy celebrates aboard Marche Lorraine after winning the Distaff

World Championships
Breeders' Cup Distaff Results

Date: 11/6/2021

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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 Spinster (G1) winner Letruska was sent off as the 8-5 favorite over 7-2 second choice Malathaat, winner of the Alabama (G1) after just missing in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), and 5-1 third choice Royal Flag, winner of the Beldame Invitational (G2).

Marche Lorraine rallies on the outside the stretch.

Jockey Flavien Prat sent 11-1 Private Mission to the lead first time by through fractions of 21.84, 44.97, and 1:09.70 while pressed by Letruska and stalked by 17-2 Shedaresthedevil and 32-1 As Time Goes By. Turning for home the pacesetters tired, as 50-1 Marche Lorraine, 9th early under Oisin Murphy, came out 5 wide to sweep to the front through 1 mile in 1:35.28. 12-1 Dunbar Road put in a strong late rally from 8th but Marche Lorraine held her off to win by a nose in 1:47.67. It was another 1/2 length back to late-running Malathaat third, while favorite Letruska faded to finish 10th beaten 32 lengths.

Marche Lorraine wins the Distaff
Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
10   Marche Lorraine    Murphy          101.80  41.00 18.80
11   Dunbar Road        Ortiz                   11.60  6.80
 3   Malathaat          Velazquez                      3.80

Winning Time:  1:47.67
  
$1 Exacta 10-11                      513.30
$1 Trifecta 10-11-3                4,010.00
$1 Superfecta 10-11-3-5           22,455.20
Results chart

Left: Marche Lorraine in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Yoshito Yahagi said (via translator), "So traveling with two fillies from Japan wasn't the ideal plan, and so Marche Lorraine was a good partner for Loves Only You. And Marche Lorraine had three victories over turf in Japan and Mr. Yahagi was thinking that for horses to be competitive in the Dirt in the U.S., need to have some sort of speed, which means like winning turf races in Japan."

Right: The trophy presentation for the Distaff. Winning jockey Oisin Murphy said, "Jose Ortiz is someone I look up to and he knows the dirt a lot better than I do and he wasn't going and I thought, well, best probably to follow him, and I just took my time behind him. I tried to be up close to him as possible to get less kickback and she traveled nicely. And maybe I moved a little bit too early. I thought if I didn't move early, I would get pushed wide around the turn and I had a choice to make whether to go wide or make a move and she was tough up the straight."

Left: Marche Lorraine heads out for the post parade. Murphy added, "I didn't know a whole lot about Marche Lorraine. Her trainer, Mr. Yahagi, I ride a lot for in Japan and a fair bit for overseas. I've ridden for him in Dubai and Hong Kong. And he doesn't travel unless they have a chance. I tried to ignore her odds and just give her every chance in the run and hopefully she could finish off. And to be honest, we were obviously a hostage to fortune, I sat out the back, and they went quite quick. So we needed them to do that, but it was a brilliant performance."

Right: Marche Lorraine returning to the barn.

Left: Second place finisher Dunbar Road heads out to the track. Trainer Chad Brown said, "It's a tough beat. I thought we got the headbob, there. It's probably the toughest loss I've ever had. It's just a shame because it's two years in a row where she really should have won the distaff. She got a bad trip last time too. No one can convince me otherwise. She had some trouble down the backside and she ended up on the inside where I really didn't want her. The track is better outside. It just happened that way. Jose did the best he could and she gave a valiant effort. I'm really proud of her. It's a shame her career ended this way."

Right: Third place finisher Malathaat in the post parade. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "We got a great pace setup. She was getting a smooth trip. At the top of the stretch, she kind of got squeezed in between horses and had to fight her way through and looked like she was just a little intimidated and kind of cocked her head a little bit. Once she got clear she was closing back again and gaining ground. It was a huge effort. I'm very proud of her. I just hate to ever see her lose. She's a superstar and she lost nothing in defeat."

Left: Tenth place finisher and beaten favorite Letruska at the finish. Trainer Fausto Gutierrez said, "I think maybe she found the pace too fast. When it's :21 and :44, it's very difficult. When its :21 and :44, it's impossible to run with these fractions."

Right: The field breaks from the gate for the Distaff. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard beaten favorite Letruska (6) said,  "They went too fast.  They didn't want her to be on the lead.  They went after her.  She wants to run and I tried to slow her down as much as possible, but it didn't work out."

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