Longines Distaff Division
OwnerEclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Martin S. Schwartz, CHC Inc.
BreederChina Horse Club International Limited
DamLast Full Measure
Valiance has proved heroic the second half of 2020, punctuating a three-win streak with a victory in the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, securing an expenses-paid berth in the Longines Distaff (G1) through the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series. Upsetting Kentucky Oaks winner Shedaresthedevil, who set the pace, but tired for third, the stunning gray filly scored her first graded stakes victory and improved her record to six wins from eight career starts.
The 4-year-old is trained by Todd Pletcher and is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Martin Schwartz and China Horse Club.
"(I'm) just blown away," Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred said. "It's been such an emotional year dealing with the craziest times that the world has seen. We're just so honored to win a race like this with such a regally bred filly."
Valiance is the daughter of leading sire Tapit. Her maternal grandfather is Empire Maker, winner of the 2003 Florida Derby (G1), Wood Memorial (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1). Empire Maker also finished second in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Valiance, who was bred in Kentucky, was purchased for $650,000.
Five of Valiance’s first six races came on turf. Her seventh start, Monmouth’s listed Eatontown Stakes, was moved from turf to dirt, and she won handily on a sloppy track. Pletcher thought he might have a dirt contender. The Spinster proved he was correct.
"It seemed like she had simply been training better on dirt than she ever did previously," Pletcher said. "When the Eatontown came off the turf at Monmouth and she ran ... it was very impressive the way she did that that day. The margin doesn’t do justice to how easily she won that day. That’s when we started thinking about taking a shot in a big one."
Pletcher has saddled eleven Breeders’ Cup winners, including last year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) champion Vino Rosso.
|October 04, 2020||Juddmonte Spinster S.||KEENELAND||1||1|
|August 29, 2020||Eatontown S.||MONMOUTH PARK||1|
|July 28, 2020||COLONIAL DOWNS||1|
|June 27, 2020||New York S.||BELMONT PARK||2||6|
|May 16, 2020||Powder Break S.||GULFSTREAM PARK||4|