The fact that multiple Gr.1 winner Close Hatches (FIRST DEFENCE) was able to run as somewhat of an underdog in the Breeders' Cup Distaff on Friday stands as an indicator of the depth of the 2013 renewal, as she had, entering the race, two impressive Gr.1 wins to her name with earnings of over $1 million.

Despite the fact that the field she was pitted against  included two reigning Eclipse Award winners (Champion Older Female, Royal Delta and Champion Two Year Old Filly, Beholder) and the reigning Kentucky Oaks winner (Princess of Sylmar), Close Hatches made a game performance, finishing ahead of all but one of the spectacular female entries. 

Her heartfelt bid for victory, leaves her among not only the top three year olds in the nation but also among the top females of any age competing on the dirt this year. A decidedly professional and skillful showing at Santa Anita supports the claim that this talented filly continues to improve. 

She stays in training for 2014.

Date: 2 November 2013