Skip Dickstein

30 Years in 30 Days: Largest Victory Margins

Inside Information's romp in the 1995 Distaff by 13 1/2 lengths tops all.

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.

Inside Information
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Inside Information left the others far behind in 1995.
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 marginsthe 1994 Acorn and 1995 Ruffianas 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    
 First  Second  Race  Margin
 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