Marche Lorraine Prevails Over Dunbar Road By A Whisker To Steal Distaff

If Breeders’ Cup viewers thought the finish of the Sprint, which featured a ding-dong battle between Aloha West and Dr. Schivel, was a nail-biter, Breeders’ Cup Distaffers demonstrated we hadn’t seen anything yet.

Top betting choices and hot early pacesetters Private Mission, Malathaat, and Shedaresthedevil were overcome midstretch by an arsenal of closers, including Marche Lorraine (JPN) and Dunbar Road scrapping in the final strides. Marche Lorraine had broken through traffic in the middle of the track, while Dunbar Road took an inside path to the wire and came late to challenge Marche Lorraine. It was Marche Lorraine, who had sat well off the pace early in the 1 1/8-mile contest, who fought her way through under British champion jockey Oisin Murphy, edging Dunbar Road and Jose Ortiz by the narrowest of noses in the photo finish.

“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,” Murphy said later. “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.”

The race gave Japanese shippers their second victory of the day, after Loves Only You took the Filly and Mare Turf earlier in the afternoon, also running for trainer Yoshito Yahgi.

Letruska, who had been the heavy 8-5 favorite, had room to run but faded going into the final turn, finishing up tenth.

Malathaat hung on for third in another photo finish over Clariere.

Off at odds of 45-1, Marche Lorraine paid $101.80, $41.00, and $18.80.

Early fractions were blistering at :21.84, :44.97, 1:09.70, and 1:35.28, with a final time of 1:47.67.

U. Carrot Farm owns Marche Lorraine, who was bred in Japan by Northern Farm. The partnership includes roughly 400 partners, who join in the partnership and then select small portions of the horses they want to own. The syndicate has 50 to 70 horses a year.

The 5-year-old mare is the daughter of Orfevre and French Deputy mare Vite Marcher. She came to the race off a win in the Breeders’ Gold Cup Stakes on Aug. 12 at Mombetsu. Earlier this year, she won both the nine-furlong Tck Jo-O Hai and the eleven-furlong Empress Hai. Marche Lorraine has found success on both turf and dirt, and has excelled on a variety of track conditions in her dirt races.

­See the full chart here.

LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF QUOTES

Winning Jockey Oisin Murphy (Marche Lorraine) – “An amazing day, I couldn’t be happier. I sat on her during the week in morning exercise and she felt good. They went very fast on the front end which helped me. I’m very grateful to the owners for putting me up. I love riding in Japan so to have a Japanese winner at the Breeders Cup, it couldn’t be better.

“I just followed Jose Ortiz. He has a lot more experience on dirt than I have. When he wasn’t going early I knew the fractions were very fast. To be honest, I could have waited a little longer going into the turn. But, I thought that if I waited longer then I’m going to be pushed wider going into the turn. So, if I could kind of get on the back of the Qatar filly, Shedaresthedevil, that’s what I did so I didn’t have a super wide trip going into the straight.”

Trainer Chad Brown (Dunbar Road, second) – “I need to watch the replay. 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. I thought she was a deserving winner of this race.

Jockey Jose Ortiz (Dunbar Road, second) – “We had a real good trip.  At the half mile pole there was room inside, so I waited for the stretch to ask her.  We got through and she finished strong.  I thought I got it at the wire.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher (Malathaat, third) – “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.”

Jockey John Velazquez (Malathaat, third) – “She ran really hard. She was a little uncomfortable in there but she got through on the rail, I got her clear for a minute but then got sucked back in.”

Trainer Steve Asmussen (Clairiere, fourth) – “It’s about three-quarters of a length from where we wanted to be. She was further back than I was hoping early, but Ricardo (Santana Jr.) said she wasn’t running into this dirt right away. When he got her out, she made a good run. It looked like she got fanned out in the stretch.”

Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. (Clairiere, fourth) – “I was happy with her. She’s only three years old and has a very bright future. I can’t wait to see her next year.”

Trainer Fausto Gutierrez (Letruska, 10th as the favorite) – “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.”

Jockey Irad Ortiz (Letruska, 10th as the favorite) – “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.”

The post Marche Lorraine Prevails Over Dunbar Road By A Whisker To Steal Distaff appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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