2021 Breeders’ Cup Distaff Pre-entries
In the days leading up to the 38th Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar in California, usracing.com is publishing profiles on the horses in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Saturday, Nov. 6). The profiles will be updated following the post-position draw on Monday, Nov. 1.
By Ed McNamara
Most of Chad Brown’s horses improve with age, but Dunbar Road went in the other direction. This 5-year-old mare never recaptured the excellent form of her 3-year-old season, in which she won two Grade 1s, the Mother Goose and the Alabama. She looked like a potential superstar after dominating her debut by 8 3/4 lengths and taking three of her next four races. Since then, she’s 2-for-10, including 1-for-9 in graded stakes.
Dunbar Road is one of those horses who benefits her owner much more than win bettors. She’s a big-time earner ($1.358 million) who’s finished in the top three in 11 of 15 career starts, all but two of them stakes. Yet she finished fifth and third in the past two Distaffs without ever looking like a winner (total margin 9 1/2 lengths).
She’s lost six in a row, although her recent second in the Grade 1 Spinster behind division leader Letruska was encouraging. Dunbar Road closed almost two lengths in the stretch after chasing the pace three- and four-wide. In the race before that, the Grade 1 Personal Ensign, Dunbar Road rallied to be fourth but only three-quarters of a length behind Letruska. For a few strides in mid-stretch it appeared as if she might catch the winner, but no.
Dunbar Road is on the upswing, having produced career-top Beyers (100, 98) in her last two races. She’s a must-use underneath in exotics as she’s 5-for-8 lifetime at 1 1/8 miles but with only one win at the distance.
2021 Breeders’ Cup Distaff Profile: Dunbar Road
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Chad Brown
Owner: Peter Brant
Career record: 15-6-2-3
Career earnings: $1,358,740
Top Equibase speed figure: 111
Pedigree: Quality Road-Gift List, by Bernardini
Running style: Stalker/closer
Betting advice: A Distaff victory would be a major surprise. She’s likely to pick up the pieces by passing tired horses late, but I can’t recommend a win bet.
Notes: Dunbar Road breezed 4 furlongs in 49 seconds Oct. 23 at Keeneland, her only workout since the Spinster 13 days earlier … She’s named for the street where owner Peter Brant lives in Palm Beach, Florida … Brant, 74, made his fortune in the paper mill industry, as a magazine publisher, film producer and art collector. He campaigned stars Just a Game, Waya and Gulch in the 1970s and 1980s. He left racing for 20 years before returning in 2016. Brown trained his 2018 champion mare Sistercharlie, a multiple-stakes winner who won the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Brant also owned France-based Sottsass, winner of the 2020 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.