08/08/2013 2:16PM

Breeders’ Cup restores race name to BC Distaff

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The name of the Breeders’ Cup Ladies' Classic will be restored to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff for the 2013 event and beyond, the Breeders’ Cup said Thursday.

The race is one of Breeders’ Cup’s seven original races, and it was run as the Distaff from the inaugural event in 1984 until 2007. The name was changed to the Ladies’ Classic in 2008, when Breeders’ Cup shifted the lineup of its races by putting races restricted to fillies and mares on the first day of the event after first splitting the card into two days in 2007.

Breeders’ Cup’s marketing department had urged that the name be changed from the Distaff to the Ladies’ Classic because of worries that non-racing fans did not understand the term “distaff.” The term has been used throughout racing history to refer to races that are restricted to fillies or mares.

The name change drew criticism from many racing fans, in part because many critics also objected to the decision to schedule the races for fillies and mares on Friday, a maneuver that appeared to relegate the races to an undercard of sorts.

“We restored the Ladies’ Classic to its original name due to feedback from our loyal fans who have a strong affinity for the Distaff,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup president and chief executive, in a release.

The race will continue to be run under its original conditions, at 1 1/8 miles on the main track, for fillies and mares 3 years old and up. Though the Friday lineup has yet to be finalized, Breeders’ Cup did say that the Distaff will continue to be run as the last of the five Friday Breeders’ Cup races.