Top-Quality Sprinters Take Aim at Ballerina Stakes
Courtesy of Aaron Halterman of the Racing Dudes
The $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina Stakes (G1) looks to be one of the best betting races this Saturday at Saratoga on a card headlined by the Travers Stakes (G1). A strong field of seven filly and mares will line up to contest the event.
Trainer Chad Brown has the headliner in this race, Seperationofpowers, who most recently won the Bed o’ Roses Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park. She also has won two of three Saratoga starts, including the Test Stakes (G1) last year in a stylish performance. The multiple graded stakes winner comes into this race off of a series of solid works at Belmont Park, which signals she should be ready to roll. A win or second here will make her horse racing’s newest millionaire.
The winner of the Ballerina Stakes will receive an automatic position in the $1 million Breeders’ Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) this fall at Santa Anita Park. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of California will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
Here is a look at the full field:
#1 Special Relativity – When it comes to running at Saratoga, not many can match the record of Special Relativity. She has raced four times over this historic track, winning all of them. This year, she opened the meet with an allowance/optional claiming win before taking the Shine Again Stakes in her latest start. Trainer Robertino Diodoro has had a solid Saratoga meeting, especially when running horses for owners M and M Racing.
#2 Come Dancing – No female horse in the country was as hot as Come Dancing at one point this year after she completely dominated her competition in the Distaff Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct and the Ruffian Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park. Last time out, she tried her hand at the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) but was no match for the powerful Midnight Bisou. She cuts back in distance to 7 furlongs here, which has been her best distance.
#3 Pacific Gale – It’s been a while since we’ve seen this horse win, but she has been in some tough races this season. She was not competitive last time out with a sixth-place showing in the Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) over this track. If she can run back to her past solid efforts this year, then she could surprise at a solid price.
#4 Separationofpowers – When this filly shows up with a top-notch effort, she can be very difficult to beat. She was one of the most impressive 2-year-old maiden-breakers at the 2017 Saratoga meeting, winning by almost 12 lengths. Last year, she returned to Saratoga to neck out the Test Stakes (G1) over a solid field, and she has been solid once again in 2019, winning the Bed o’ Roses Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park in her last start. With two wins from three starts over the local track, she will be tough to take down.
#5 Mia Mischief – From day one, this filly has shown a tremendous amount of talent. Perhaps the most impressive race of her career came three starts back when she picked up her first Grade 1 victory in the Humana Distaff Stakes at Churchill Downs. She also picked up a win over the talented Covfefe in the Roxelana Overnight Stakes next time out before finishing fourth in the Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) last time out. She is winless in three starts at Saratoga, but she has finished second twice over this oval, including running just a neck behind Separationofpowers in last year’s Test Stakes (G1).
#6 Minit to Stardom - This filly shocked the world last time out in the Honorable Miss Stakes (G2), winning the local race at a large price (20/1) that could have been even larger if there were more than six horses in the field. In that race, she aggressively took the lead right out of the gate and simply ran them off their feet for a 1 1/2-length victory. After that strategy worked so well, there is no doubt that she’ll try to get to the front once again here. She’ll be looking for her fourth straight victory and has improved with each start.
#7 Dawn the Destroyer – This consistent mare has hit the board in four of five starts, all against stakes company. Last time out, she was third in the Bed o’ Roses Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park against several of the same rivals that she’ll face here. You can rely on her to show up every time with a solid effort.
The Ballerina Stakes serves as one of three Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” events this weekend at Saratoga, which include the Personal Ensign Stakes (Longines Distaff) and the Sword Dancer Stakes (Longines Turf). Del Mar will also host one “Win and You’re In” event, the Pat O’Brien Stakes (Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile). The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events continue on September 7 at Kentucky Downs with the running of the Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint (Turf Sprint) and at Belmont Park with the running of the Jockey Club Derby (Longines Turf).
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to racingdudes.com.
- September 20, 2021
Churchill Down’s Fall meet has commenced, and this past Saturday’s “Downs After Dark” program had fans tracking ascending stars.
- September 18, 2021
At its meeting last night, the Breeders’ Cup Board of Directors unanimously elected Barbara Banke as Board Chairman. Owner of Stonestreet Farms in Lexington, Ky., Banke becomes the first woman to Chair Breeders’ Cup Limited.
- September 17, 2021
$1 Million Ricoh Woodbine Mile Headlines Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Races on Saturday and Sunday in Canada on NBCSN
The “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” will be at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto for two live programs of outstanding turf racing on Saturday, Sept. 18 on NBCSN (5:30-6:30 p.m. ET).