The Grade II Distaff Turf Mile traditionally brings together an accomplished group of older female grass milers who reside with some of the elite trainers in North America. Over the past couple of years this race has been owned by Brad Cox’s Beau Recall (IRE). Recently, the only other 2-time winner of this race was HOF trainer Mark Casse’s legendary runner, Tepin. She put on a show and became so beloved by many who followed her career. Who will join these 2, and all the others that have succeeded in this race?
Now, let’s find out about this field…
#1 Jakarta (Jky: L. Saez/Trn: M. Maker):
Trainer Mike Maker is going “Blinkers Off” for this runner who apparently needs an easy lead if she ever wants to win again. Last out in the Giant’s Causeway 100k at Keeneland, the short-priced sprinter came up woefully short. Maybe it was the distance? Now, his accomplished conditioner is taking the mare and moving to a distance she will hopefully gravitate towards. Luis Saez is the right man for the job, but Three Diamonds, the ownership group here, might be disappointed if she cannot get home.
#2 She’s Got You (GB) (Jky: J. Castellano/Trn: C. Brown):
Trainer Chad Brown had some success with this 5-yr-old mare out of Kingman (GB) last season at Belmont and Monmouth after immigrating from the UK. She performed well as she moved up the class ladder. A victory in the Violet102k “Non-G” was a highlight. But she could not score in the Athenia (G3). After a good rest, she is coming in fresh off the bench. Getting turf master Javier Castellano to ride is a nice affirmation of her ability. He can flat out ride on the lawn. Major shot, if she is in form.
#3 New York Girl (Jky: J. Velazquez/Trn: B. Mott):
Trainer Bill Mott is sending this filly out of New Approach (IRE) into Churchill in hopes that a cutback in distance will serve her well. She was pretty impressive stepping up at Tampa in a pair of their best turf route events for older runners. That is not easy to compete against the likes of Micheline and Contemporary Risk. The HOF conditioner knows how to spot these entry points, and I am guessing she will be primed for a mile fight in this one. Johnny V isn’t Castellano/Ortiz/Rosario, so he is going to have to position her properly from the start. That is a good reminder why riding on the grass isn’t like sending them on the dirt.
Trainer Brendan Walsh is having a superb year, with a stable that is brimming with talent. Here is one of those nifty members, and this daughter of Zoffany (IRE) has some major grass bloodlines coursing through her. After a so-so 2020, she opened the new year at Gulfstream Park, and her results after the wire changed. She’s run well against some solid competition which includes a near miss against her gatemate, Got Stormy #5 in the Honey Fox (G3). If super-jock Irad Ortiz can bully his way to the right seam, then he could give his mount a great shot at the “Win.”
#5 Got Stormy (Jky: T. Gaffalione/Trn: M. Casse):
Trainer Mark Casse now has legions of owners behind him. Yes, it’s official . . . this mare is now a member of MyRacehorse. Already, she has a celebrated career that is chock full with major “Graded” events. That is pretty much all she runs in these days. When you reach a certain distinction, then your job is to do everything you can to hold on to it. Casse once again has her ready to roll. She was excellent in the Honey Fox (G3), and affirmed her title as one of the best in the older female turf mile division. If she is on her game, rolling late, then she can be very tough to beat.
#6 Blowout (Jky: F. Prat/Trn: C. Brown):
The other Chad Brown stablemate who appears poised to come out of the dugout is this lovely mare out of Dansili (GB). Her arrival on the turf scene way back in 2019 seems like eons ago, but from the start she was always the type of runner who just would not go away. She gradually climbed up the class charts, and although it seems like she is a “just missed” type with all those 2nd place finishes, I tend to think of her as the mark of consistency. The last time we saw her in the Matriarch (G1) at Del Mar, Flavien Prat allowed her to get nailed at the wire by the very good Viadera. He will not let that happen again—he’s back aboard!
#7 Abscond (Jky: J. Rosario/Trn: E. Kenneally):
The Eddie Kenneally Barn is hoping for a score in what looks to be a tough spot to roll into for their filly out of Blame. She has some nice performances under her belt in 100k-type races, and even a 2nd in the Herecomesthebride (G3) at Gulfstream Park. She has had her share of failed attempts at short prices, and that might give some bettors pause, as they try to discern whether to give her another shot. Getting Joel Rosario to ride might be the lynchpin, and that could go a long way into thinking that she is ready for her 2nd go of 2021. It will not be easy against some powerful adversaries.
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