Its Derby week here in Kentucky, and although not the big draw on Saturday, there are plenty of exciting undercard races to fill up the afternoon to the Bluegrass Derby (G1). One of these races is The Humane Distaff (G1), a Grade I race at seven furlongs over the main dirt track. The race is open to fillies and mares, four-years of age and older. The race this year drew nearly a full field of thirteen horses. Lets take a look at each of the contenders going into the starting gate in The Humane Distaff (G1) this year.
1. Quality Zone – (Quality Road x Machiavellian x Northern Dancer) – nitro93 – G. De – 10/1
Making the first graded start of her career this weekend, the brown four-year-old filly is an accomplished listed stakes winner and has won eight times in her eighteen start racing career. The most recent start for the filly came in Baby Nop Dirt Mare Special, a listed stakes race over seven furlongs. The filly broke out of the gate over what was a sloppy dirt course and settled back in third off a few other horses, gained some ground midway through the race, but faded in the stretch to finish fourth, two and a quarter lengths off the pace. The filly set a speed figure of one hundred six for the race. The most recent win for the filly came last December during an allowance race at seven furlongs in Idaho. She broke just behind the front runner by a head, but quickly took over the lead and eventually won the race by three and a half lengths. The filly will likely be forwardly placed on Saturday, probably no farther back than fourth,
2. Slew Betcha (ENG) – (Dansili (GB) x Mr. Prospector x Seattle Slew) - pointblank – M. Clooch – 11/1
A Grade I winner already after a sixteen start career, the English-bred chestnut four-year-old will be looking for her fifth career win this weekend in the Humane Distaff (G1). The most recent start for the filly came in New York during The Long Island Sprint (G2) over six furlongs. The filly came out of the gate and settled just off a few other horses in fifth but faded badly in the stretch to cross the wire in ninth, five lengths off the pace and setting a speed figure of one hundred. The latest victory for the filly also came in New York, this as a three-year-old last year during The Priceless (G1) on a dirt track rated as good. The filly won that race in wire to wire fashion by half a length. Out of the gate on Saturday the filly will likely be placed up towards the front and could be a possible pacesetter in the race.
3. Charge The Mound – (Smart Strike x Rahy x Vice Regent) - wetfast – V. Jef – 9/1
In the third slot, this five-year-old filly has made eighteen lifetime starts and is graded placed, but still looking for that elusive graded win. The chestnut filly, winner of nine races so far in her career, made her most recent start here in Kentucky during The Virginia Madison (G2) over seven furlongs. Breaking out of the gate and settling back in the the fifth slot early on, the filly was urged to start moving forward midway through the race and crossed the wire in second, behind by just half a length and setting a speed figure of one hundred seven. The most recent win for the filly came in January during the Dragonbringer Dirt Mare Sprint, a listed stakes race over five furlongs. She was placed a little more forwardly in this race early on, hanging just off the pace of a couple of front runners in third, before moving to the lead midway through the race and going on to win by one and a quarter lengths. The filly will probably be placed mid-pack out of the gate on Saturday, but could possibly be placed up as close as fifth out of the gate.
4. Strikestar – (Smart Strike x A.P. Indy x Storm Cat) - axemjack86 – D. Coleman – 6/1
Out of the Grade II winning broodmare Cat Five Storm, this five-year-old mare will be making her twentieth career start in the Humane Distaff (G1) t his weekend. The chestnut mare has already attained a Grade I victory for herself. She too made her most recent start in The Long Island Sprint (G2) over six furlongs. In this race the mare went straight to the lead out of the gate but wound up crossing the wire in second, back off the pace by one and a quarter lengths and setting a speed figure of one hundred seven. She last won in October of last year during The TOCA Sprint (G3) here in Kentucky. In this race she settled back early on in second and was made to stay off the lead until they came into the stretch, at which point she took the lead and won by a length and a half. She will likely be forwardly placed on Saturday, likely either or our early pacesetter or sitting just behind the pace in second.
5. Dr. Sitarides – (Smart Strike x Storm Cat x El Prado) - wrecks2 – S. S. Ledwith – 10/1
Making the first graded stakes start of her career, the four-year-old brown filly is fairly lightly raced with just fifteen career starts. She is out of the listed stakes winning broodmare Dr. Pimple Popper. The most recent start for the brown filly came here in Kentucky over seven furlongs in the Dependant Shocker Dirt Mare Sprint, a listed stakes race. Settling back off the pace a little in third, the filly started to move up midway through the race and crossed the wire first by two and a quarter lengths, setting a speed figure of one hundred ten, a lifetime best for the filly. Prior to this race the filly also won two consecutive allowance races overseas in the United Arab Emirates. The filly will likely want to be forwardly placed is well, preferably in the first three, or even possibly as the pacesetter, out of the gate this weekend.
6. Party Never Ends – (Congrats x Wild Again x Danzig) – warfront – O. Osbourne – 11/1
With just thirteen starts in her career to date, the four-year-old filly is already a Grade III winner and is out of the allowance winning broodmare Frank’s Burn. The a few of the other fillies in the race this weekend, she made her most recent start in The Long Island Sprint (G2) over six furlongs. Out of the gate she was well off the pace early on, settling far back in eleventh. She started moving up fairly early in the race and ultimately crossed the wire in fourth, coming up three and a half lengths short and setting a speed figure of one hundred two. The most recent win for the filly was overseas in Thailand during the Natural Spring Stakes (G3) over seven furlongs. She was just as far back off the pace early on in this race, but made it up to the front of the pack to cross the wire first and win by a narrow margin of a neck. This filly will likely be trailing the field early on out of the gates on Saturday, but will likely start to make up that position fairly early in the race, which may be a good set up for her as the other fillies dashing for the front start to tire later on.
7. Summer Dream – (Summer Bird x Dream Run x Primo Dominie (GB)) - alleged - B. Gulch – 13/1
One of only two horses in the field this weekend to not have won at least a listed stakes start, this four-year-old filly has come close and is placed in listed stakes competition. She is out of the allowance winning broodmare Enjoy The Moment. The bay filly has won six starts in a total of sixteen career starts and brought home earnings of $239,930 for her connections. The most recent start for the filly came in New York during an allowance race over seven furlongs. Settling just off the pace in third out of the gate in the race, the filly stayed in that position until asked to challenge in the stretch, where she went on to cross the wire first by one and a half lengths, setting a speed figure of one hundred seven, a lifetime best for the filly. The last listed stakes race for the filly was December of last year during the Race Series for grracers, where the filly finished second, narrowly missing the win by a margin of a neck. With the rest of the horses in the race that are going to want to be towards the front of the pace on Saturday, the filly will probably settle back more towards the middle of the field, or possibly farther back than where she would usually run.
8. Crossover Hit – (Smart Strike x Galileo x Seeking The Gold) - tenpin7 – D. Givins – 5/1
The early favorite for The Humane Distaff (G1) this year, the six-year-old mare is also the oldest to be going into the gate this Saturday. The chestnut mare has made twenty-two lifetime starts, winning eleven times in her racing career and already capturing a Grade I win. The most recent start for the mare was a couple of months ago in Florida during The Davey Jones Handicap (G2) over seven furlongs. The mare went straight to the lead in the race and never faded as she took the sprint in wire to wire fashion, winning by half a length with a speed figure of one hundred ten. Prior to this the mare also consecutively won The Everclear Handicap (G1) in California over seven furlongs and a listed stakes race at the same distance in Oregon. Like much of the rest of the field this weekend, the mare would like to be forwardly placed and could factor in as a possible pacesetter.
9. Sabihonda – (Smart Strike x Ghostzapper x Pulpit) – bigtate04 – J. Dawg – 118/1
The last of five fillies and mares sired by Smart Strike to enter into The Humane Distaff (G1) this weekend, this is also the only mare in the field to have not at least placed in a stakes race prior to running this weekend. The five-year-old brown mare is the most experienced in the field with a total of thirty prior starts. Out of the allowance winning broodmare Zahaadid, the brown mare has won just twice in her racing career. The most recent start for the Kentucky-bred came in Florida during an allowance race over seven furlongs. Off the pace early on and breaking out of the gate in tenth, the mare held back for much of the race and dropped position at the wire when she crossed eighteen and three-quarter lengths off the pace from the winner, setting a speed figure of seventy. The mare saw her most recent win in August of last year in a mile long allowance race in Virginia. Breaking close to the lead just off the pace in second, the mare was asked to challenge in the stretch and went on to win the race by one and three-quarter lengths. On Saturday, the mare will probably be expected to trail the rest of the field early.
10. Mock Draft – (More Than Ready x Unbridled’s Song x Rahy) - psyduck – M. Wallace – 6/1
A standout roan filly in the race this weekend, the four-year-old is out of the allowance winning broodmare Magic Song. Lightly raced at fifteen career starts, the filly is already a Grade II winner and will be making her first Grade I start this weekend in The Humane Distaff (G1). The most recent start for the roan filly was in Florida during The Davey Jones Handicap (G2). Breaking mid-pack out of the gate and settling into fifth position early, the filly began to pick off other runners fairly early in the race, but only managed to cross the wire in third, two and a quarter lengths off the pace. She set a speed figure of one hundred six for the race. Her most recent win was just the start prior during an allowance race over seven furlongs. Running in much the same style as she did in The Davey Jones Handicap (G2), the filly did make it to the front and went on to win by three-quarters of a length. Her most recent win came in August last year overseas in Spain during the Snownut Handicap (G2) over a mile. Setting just off the pace in third early on, she made a move down the stretch that led her to winning the race by a quarter of a length. This weekend the filly will likely be placed towards the middle or latter half of the pack early on.
11. Kerwhizz (AUS) - (Encosta De Lago (AUS) x Forty Niner x Deputy Minister) – kevoman – B.Scott – 12/1
Out of the listed stakes placed broodmare Friend Daisy, this Australian-bred five-year-old mare is a Grade I winner of over $700,000 in career earnings. The chestnut mare has made twenty-four lifetime starts in her career, making her one of the more seasoned runners in the field this weekend. The most recent start for the mare came in a mile long allowance race in Florida. She came out of the gate and settled just off the pace of the front runner in second but started to fade back throughout the race. She ultimately crossed the wire in fifth, eight and half lengths off the pace of the winner. The mare set a speed figure of eighty-one for the race. Her last victory was in September of last year during The Nutcracker (G1) at seven furlongs in New York. Sitting back towards the middle of the pack at the start, she went on to win by two lengths. Since she’s shown the ability to rate she will likely sit more off the pace and settle back into the middle of the field out of the gate early on.
12. Distorted Sunlight – (Distorted Humor x Giant’s Causeway x Seattle Slew) – aalex311 – Wa Williams – 6/1
Nearing the end of the field for the race, this four-year-old filly has made eighteen career starts, winning nine times so far in her racing career. The most recent start for the Kentucky-bred filly was in Arkansas during the Orange Blossom (G1) over a mile and one sixteenth last month. The filly took out of the gates and went straight to the lead in the race, taking the Grade I race in wire to wire fashion when she won by one and three-quarter lengths with a speed figure of one hundred eleven. Prior to this she also won the BBRS Presents The Slave To Tradition Mile (G2) by a length and three-quarters. The filly is going to be looking to either be the pacesetter on Saturday, or possibly sit off just behind it in second early on.
13. Viper Venom – (Congrats x Gone West x Northern Dancer) - odin – L. Radzinski – 8/1
The final filly to go into the gate on Saturday in the far outside post, the four-year-old brown filly is out of the allowance winning broodmare Lexington North. With seven wins in eighteen career starts, she is ranked #3 in her division. The filly made her most recent start during a seven furlong allowance race which she won after sitting off the pace early on in fourth. The last graded start for the filly was last year during the Breeders’ Bowl F&M Sprint (G1), in which she finished second. The filly will probably be either towards the middle of the pack or farther off the pace towards the rear of the field at the start on Saturday.