Fillies, mares and now ladies in the Breeders’ Cup |

Fillies, mares and now ladies in the Breeders’ Cup

ARCADIA, Calif. ” There’s fillies, mares and now ladies in the Breeders’ Cup.

The $2 million showcase race for female horses has been renamed the Ladies’ Classic. It was previously known as the Distaff, a term that refers to the female branch of a family.

Breeders’ Cup officials made the change as a way to appeal to a larger fan base that may not be familiar with racing terminology, spokesman Jim Gluckson said.

He added that the new name also highlights Friday’s card featuring all-female horses for the first time running in five races worth a total of $8 million.

Gluckson acknowledged that some veterans in the racing industry were not happy with the change, but at least one female fan disagreed.

“I like it,” said Carolyn Dunn, who was at Santa Anita for Wednesday’s races. “I don’t know what that other word means.”

Saeed bin Suroor, who trains for Dubai-based Godolphin Racing, will saddle Cocoa Beach and Music Note in the Ladies’ Classic.

“I like it, nice name,” he said. “It’s still the same race and the same distance.”

Many sporting events have moved away from the term ladies in favor of women, with Wimbledon being a notable exception.

The tradition-laden All England club still calls it competitions Ladies Singles and Ladies Doubles.

In women’s golf, the LPGA Tour is rarely referred to anymore by its full name, Ladies Professional Golf Association.

“It seems odd to me in this day and age that somebody would be using the term ladies,” said Marj Snyder, chief program officer for the Women’s Sports Foundation. “Ladies is not a term you use for horses.”

Snyder said that although she wasn’t familiar with the word distaff, the name Ladies’ Classic made her think it was a race with all-female jockeys.

“They’re sort of going from one really, really old-school term to another old-school term,” she said.

“It’s not something I would get all irate about, and obviously the horses can’t speak for themselves on this subject, but it’s rare and it’s mostly being dropped in favor of women’s or not even referring to any gender.”

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