Malathaat wins shake in three-way photo for BC’22 Distaff

November 5, 2022

Photo of Malathaat (outside), Blue Stripe and Clairiere (inside) coming down to the wire by Courtney Snow for Past The Wire

Breeders’ Cup Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Shadwell Stable’s Malathaat ($7.76) got up in the final stride to edge 24-1 longshot Blue Stripe (ARG) by a nose with Clairiere another nose back in third in the dramatic 39th running of the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.

Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, Malathaat completed the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:49.07. Malathaat was third in this race last year at Del Mar, beaten a half-length. 

It is the third win in the race for both Pletcher and Velazquez. The two teamed up in 2004 with Ashado with Pletcher getting his second Distaff victory at Keeneland in 2015 with Stopchargingmaria while Velazquez got his second in 2017 with Forever Unbridled.

Society led the field a half-mile in :47.29 while under pressure from Blue Stripe and Search Results as Malathaat raced near the back of the eight-horse field.

Society carried her lead to the top of the stretch where Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath and favored Nest challenged to her outside and Blue Stripe surged on the inside.

Secret Oath took over at the three-sixteenths pole but was quickly confronted by Blue Stripe to her outside while Malathaat rallied three-wide and Clairiere slipped through along the rail.

Secret Oath dropped out at midstretch leaving Blue Stripe in charge until the final jump when Malathaat got up.

Now four-for-four at Keeneland, Malathaat is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Curlin out of the A.P. Indy mare Dreaming of Julia. The victory was worth $1,040,000 and increased Malathaat’s earnings to $3,790,825 with a record of 14-10-3-1 that includes five Grade 1 victories.

Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff Quotes

Winning and fourth-place trainer Todd Pletcher (Malathaat and Nest): “When we first watched the race, we thought we won but they kept showing the replay, it got closer each time. She had a lot of momentum and was hoping she had enough time to get there. She got her head down at the right moment.

“I think the blinkers made a difference today. It’s hard to make an equipment change on a horse that’s so successful but we just felt like that’s the little edge she needed.

(on beaten favorite Nest) “I was concerned. She was very wide throughout and never able to save any ground. Irad (Ortiz) tried to make an early move to get to an early position to save some ground, but everything went cockeyed at the start.”

Photo by Courtney Snow for Past The Wire

Winning jockey John Velazquez (Malathaat):“I wasn’t surprised (I won). I thought I got the bob and then I wasn’t sure. When you got that much trust from a guy like Todd Pletcher and gives me the opportunity to ride these good horses, it makes it easy when you have to make adjustments during the race.”

“Every race she runs, she shows up. She is a tough mare and will miss her if they retire her.”

Second-place trainer Marcelo Polanco (Blue Stripe): “She ran absolutely great. You get to this point, 25-1 amazing.

Did you expect that type of performance from her?: “Absolutely. She’s was training super.”

Third and seventh place trainer Steve Asmussen (Clairiere and Society):“She ran a fabulous race. It was just inches… inches…”

(On a 2023 campaign): “of course we will have to speak with Barbara (Banke) and such, but there’s no physical reason we wouldn’t continue. She’s a special filly.”

Third-place jockey Joel Rosario (Clairiere): “She ran a big race. I thought we were going to get there, but like I said, those races are tough. She ran really well so we’re happy with the race.”

Fourth-place jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Nest, favorite): “I didn’t break well and had to use her too much to get position. When I kicked in, we did well but they just ran me down.”

Fifth-place trainer D. Wayne Lukas (Secret Oath): “We had a perfect trip. We might have moved a little early. We were sitting there but he saw Nest move and he saw that other horse move, so he probably had to make a move. I thought she ran a terrific race. She did everything I thought and we  just got beat. That was a hell of a field. I don’t feel like we have to apologize for it.”

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