10/27/2007 3:32PM

BC Day 2: The Distaff


4:34 pm: The Breeders' Cup Distaff, a chaotic and closely-matched race on paper, ended that way on the track as Ginger Punch inched past Hystericalady from the rail in the final yards with Octave a close third after trailing early.

Ginger Punch, a 4-year-old Frank Stronach homebred by Awesome Again who had to be supplemented to the race, properly survived a brief stewards' inquiry after some incidental bumping with Hystericalady in midstretch. The two of them hooked up through the final furlong as Octave closed in, and Rafael Bejarano got Ginger Punch up by a neck. Octave was third with Lady Joanne fourth and Unbridled Belle fifth.

Ginger Punch almost certainly nailed down the Eclipse Award as champion older filly with her fifth victory in eight starts this year and her third Grade 1, following triumphs in the Go For Wand at Saratoga and the Ruffian at Belmont. She finished third to Unbridled Belle and Indian Vale in the Beldame last time out. Bobby Frankel, her trainer, was not at Monmouth today, watching from California while caring for an ailing pet, his Australian shepherd, Happy.

Ginger Punch ($11.00) topped a $141.60 exacta, $1069.40 trifecta and $6837 superfecta and ran the nine furlongs in 1:50.11.