During the first 29 renewals of the World Championships, the Distaff (aka the Ladies' Classic from 2008-'12) has produced five of the 11 largest margins of victory in the Breeders' Cup, topped by a 13 1/2-length romp by champion Inside Information over a muddy Belmont Park main track Oct. 28, 1995.
Coupled with the Phipps Stable's Heavenly Prize as a favored 4-5 entry, Inside Information bobbled at the break but recovered quickly to get a position just inside leaders Lakeway and Mariah's Storm. The daughter of Private Account took over just before the half-mile was completed in a quick :45 4/5, shook off Lakeway rounding the far turn, completing a mile in 1:33.50. Leading by seven lengths at the top of the stretch, Inside Information drew off in a hand ride by jockey Mike Smith. Heavenly Prize, far back early, closed in the stretch to best the others.
The final time of 1:46.15 for 1 1/8 miles was within six-tenths of matching Secretariat's track record for the distance set in 1973, according to The Blood-Horse.
That Inside Information, an Ogden Mills Phipps homebred trained by Shug McGaughey, still holds the record for margin of victory should come as no surprise considering the ease with which she won many of her races.
Always on or close to the lead in each of her 17 career starts, Inside Information had previously won two grade I stakes by 11-length margins—the 1994 Acorn and 1995 Ruffian—as she compiled an enviable record of 14 wins, including six grade I stakes, a second, and two thirds while earning $1,641,806.
Retired to become a member of the Phipps broodmare band at Claiborne Farm following her Breeders' Cup Distaff win, Inside Information was honored with an Eclipse Award as champion older mare of 1995. As a broodmare, Inside Information has produced 2005 champion 3-year-old filly Smuggler.
"She was a marvelous filly who had her problems," Phipps said following Inside Information's induction into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 2008. "She had some impingement in her neck and Shug trained her extraordinarily well and got around that. Her big race, of course, was in the Breeders' Cup, which she won by a greater distance than any filly has ever won the Distaff. She was a wonderful mare and she was a great racehorse."
Following Inside Information on the list of top margins of victory in Breeders' Cup history is Street Sense , the eventual Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner who rolled to a 10-length triumph over Circular Quay in the 2006 Bessemer Trust Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs for owner James Tafel and trainer Carl Nafzger.
Third in margin of victory is the Phipps Stable-owned and McGaughey-trained Pleasant Home, a 9 1/4-length winner over Society Selection at 30-1 odds in the 2005 Distaff Emirates Airline Distaff at Belmont Park.
|Largest Winning Margins|
|Inside Information||Heavenly Prize||1995 Distaff||13 1/2 lengths|
|Street Sense||Circular Quay||2006 Juvenile||10 lengths|
|Pleasant Home||Society Selection||2005 Distaff||9 1/4 lengths|
|Countess Diana||Career Collection||1997 Juv. Fillies||8 1/2 lengths|
|English Channel||Shamdinan||2007 Turf||7 lengths|
|Princess Rooney||Life’s Magic||1984 Distaff||7 lengths|
|Bayakoa||Colonial Waters||1990 Distaff||6 3/4 lengths|
|Corinthian||Gottcha Gold||2007 Dirt Mile||6 1/2 lengths|
|Volponi||Medaglia d’Oro||2002 Classic||6 1/2 lengths|
|Life’s Magic||Lady’s Secret||1985 Distaff||6 1/4 lengths|
|Skip Away||Deputy Commander||1997 Classic||6 lengths|