Owner Allen Paulson’s homebred Escena closed her career in style by holding off favored Banshee Breeze by a nose to win the 1998 Distaff at Churchill Downs. Jockey Gary Stevens, who won two races at the 1998 Championships, put Escena on the lead entering the first turn and the mare had enough left to give the Hall of Fame rider his sixth Breeders’ Cup victory. Escena provided Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott with his fifth victory in the Championships and second in the Distaff.
Escena, who finished third behind stablemate Ajina in the 1997 Distaff at Hollywood Park, won seven graded stakes in her career, four of them Grade 1s. Escena won races at five tracks and was a three-time winner at Churchill Downs where she had finished second in the 1996 Kentucky Oaks. Escena received the Eclipse Award as champion older female in 1998.