Best Of The Breeders’ Cup Presented By Brisnet: Distaff and Filly & Mare Sprint

by | 11.01.2018 | 4:18pm
Groupie Doll

The two showcase main-track races for older fillies and mares on the Breeders' Cup card are also two of the races with the biggest margins between first and second when measuring the event's highest winning BRIS Speed Ratings.

Both performances left zero debate over who the dominant horse was in their respective divisions – both within the scope of the race and the horses that have won it – and both efforts sealed Eclipse Award honors at the end of the year.

Heading into this year's Breeders' Cup, we look back at previous cards to determine the most powerful efforts in each division based on the highest BRIS Speed Ratings since 1990, the first year the numbers were implemented.

To put the BRIS Speed Ratings in perspective, the typical winner of a Grade 1 race for 3-year-old males and up would earn a number around 106. The typical winner of a $10,000 open claimer in that age bracket might earn an 88, while a typical $10,000 maiden claiming winner might earn a 75.

Breeders' Cup Distaff
Top Performer: Inside Information, 1995, Belmont Park
BRIS Speed Rating: 118

Inside Information was coming to the end of a Hall of Fame career, and one of the only things seemingly missing from her resume was a Breeders' Cup win. The Private Account mare solved that by winning her on-track finale by a dazzling 13 1/2 lengths.

Owner/breeder Phipps Stable came into the 1995 running of the Distaff at Belmont Park with a strong pair, in Inside Information and Heavenly Prize, herself the previous year's champion 3-year-old filly. The Shug McGaughey-trained duo came in as a two-horse entry and they were resounding favorites when the gates broke.

Inside Information broke from the first gate, and stayed close to the leaders on the rail as Lakeway did battle with Mariah's Storm and Serena's Song in front. That clash didn't even last until the first turn before Inside Information took the open path to the lead without jockey Mike Smith changing his riding stance at all. Lakeway continued to give chase through an opening half in 45.90 seconds and six furlongs in 1:09.42. but Inside Information was brutally efficient in piling on lengths down the Belmont stretch.

With no need to urge his mount, Smith peeked behind at his foes as he hand rode the mare to a 13 1/2-length victory over stablemate Heavenly Prize, who found a hole on the rail and closed for second, another 2 1/4 lengths clear of Lakeway. Inside Information completed the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:46.15 over a muddy main track. It remains the fastest Distaff ever run and the largest winning margin for any Breeders' Cup race in the event's history.

Inside Information was already a leading candidate for the 1995 champion older female Eclipse Award before the Distaff, but the effort helped clinch her campaign.

Top Five Winning Breeders' Cup Distaff BRIS Speed Ratings:
1) Inside Information, 1995, BEL, Speed Rating: 118
2) Ginger Punch, 2007, MTH, Speed Rating: 113
3 – tie) Beholder, 2013, SA, Speed Rating: 112
3 – tie) Bayakoa, 1990, BEL, Speed Rating: 112
3 – tie) Forever Unbridled, 2017, DMR, Speed Rating: 112

Breeders' Cup Filly And Mare Sprint
Top Performer: Groupie Doll, 2012, Santa Anita Park
BRIS Speed Rating: 112

No competitor has assumed control of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint like champion Groupie Doll.

The daughter of Bowman's Band is the race's only two-time winner, and her BRIS Speed Ratings rank first and third among the race's 11 editions. Her most notable effort by way of the speed figures came in 2012.

Groupie Doll came out of the nine hole, and stayed within 2 1/4 lengths of leaders Teddy's Promise, Dust and Diamonds, and Strike the Moon in the early goings. She entered the turn five paths off from the rail, but she remained competitive with the frontrunners. Despite being widest of all, Groupie Doll continued to advance while others faltered, and she moved up to challenge the lone survivor on the lead, Dust and Diamonds, at the top of the stretch.

After briefly drawing even, Groupie Doll made short work of Dust and Diamonds, and blew by under hand urging from jockey Rajiv Maragh. Groupie Doll carried on to win by 4 1/2 lengths over Dust and Diamonds, who was 2 3/4 lengths ahead of third-place Switch. The time was 1:20.72 for seven furlongs over a fast main track at Santa Anita.

Buff Bradley saddled Groupie Doll as a homebred for himself and his father Fred Bradley. The two owned the mare in partnership with Carl Hurst and Bret Burns.

The effort earned Groupie Doll her first of two champion female sprinter trophies. The second came the following year, when she won the Filly and Mare Sprint again. That effort looked similar to the previous year's, breaking from the outside and running wide through the turn, but instead of drawing off, Groupie Doll staved off a challenge from Judy the Beauty and held on by a half-length. The 106 BRIS Speed Rating she earned for the 2013 Filly and Mare Sprint is tied for the third-highest in the race's history.

Top Five Winning Breeders' Cup Filly And Mare Turf BRIS Speed Ratings:
1) Groupie Doll, 2012, SA, Speed Rating: 112
2) Dubai Majesty, 2010, CD, Speed Rating: 108
3 – tie) Groupie Doll, 2013, SA, Speed Rating: 106
3 – tie) Musical Romance, 2011, CD, Speed Rating: 106
5 – tie) Ventura, 2008, SA, Speed Rating: 105
5 – tie) Informed Decision, 2009, SA, Speed Rating: 105
5 – tie) Wavell Avenue, 2015, KEE, Speed Rating: 105

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