In her first start since winning the Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga on August 29, Stopchargingmaria outdueled Stellar Wind by a neck and survived a stewards' inquiry into her stretch run to take the $2 million Longines Distaff in front of a record Breeders' Cup Friday crowd.
“It was incredible,” owner Kiki Courtelis, who races as Town and Country Farms, said. “It’s my first Breeders’ Cup race that I’ve ever had a horse in, and it’s such an exciting experience. And to have all of my friends and my family with me just made it even better.”
Sent off at 7-1 odds, Stopchargingmaria was sixth after the opening half mile in a field of 14 then rallied wide on the final turn, pouncing on the tiring pace-setters, My Sweet Addiction and Yahilwa. Joined by Stellar Wind, the two fillies brushed when Stopcharging drifted nearing the wire.
The 4-year-old Tale of the Cat filly completed the 1 1/8 mile Distaff in 1:48.98 under rider Javier Castellano, paying $16.20 to her backers. Curalina finished third, 3 1/2 lengths behind Stellar Wind.
Stopchargingmaria's Longines Distaff victory was the third Grade 1 win of her career, the first Breeders' Cup win for her owner, and the ninth Breeders' Cup win for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Attendance for the Friday card at Keeneland was 44,947, the most since the Breeders' Cup expanded to a two-day format in 2007.