Grade II $250,000 Ballston Spa Features Classy Field
Category : News
Fri 22/08/2014 - 16:54 EDT
Graded stakes action at Saratoga August 23 kicks off with the 26th running of the Grade II $250,000 Ballston Spa run at a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf course for fillies and mares
This year’s renewal features a classy field of seven runners led by 2/1 upstart Filimbi. Trained by Bill Mott, Filimbi turned in a career best 101 Beyer Speed Figure in her last start while beating minor stakes competition August 2 at Saratoga. While that effort was impressive, some handicappers will view Filimbi as a prime “bounce” candidate as she will likely need to produce another similar effort against a deeper field in the Ballston Spa. Joel Rosario retains the mount on Filimbi.
Dayathespa looks to flip the script
Filimbi ran down Dayathespa in the Ballston Spa and that rival is the 5/2 second choice on the morning line. Dayathespa, trained by Chad Brown, was making her first start since December and figures to be tighter this time around as Brown connects at 21% with runners making their second start off the layoff. Dayatthespa has excelled on the Saratoga lawn in her stellar career, winning three of four starts with the lone defeat coming at the hands of Filimbi – the last start for both fillies.
Contention goes deep in classy field
Strathnaver (4/1), Abaco (4/1), and Centre Court (5/1) all have a fighting chance as their odds suggest. Centre Court, trained by George Arnold, has finished in the exacta at the distance five times in seven career tries. Strathnaver could appreciate the shorter trip as she exits the Grade I Diana run at a mile and an eighth for trainer Graham Motion.
The Grade 2 $1.25 million Pennsylvania Derby features the two biggest names from the Triple Crown trail September 24 at Parx as a field of 12 gathers in one of the most intriguing betting races of the year.
The $1 million Cotillion Stakes September 24 at Parx features a true clash of the titans as the six-horse field is headlined by the undefeated, five-time grade 1 winner Songbird who figures to face the most stern challenge of her career.
In a completely wide open renewal of the Presque Isle Mile September 18 at Presque Isle Downs, 13 runners including the also-eligible will contest the eight furlong trip over synthetic footing.
Champion Songbird is set to make her much-anticipated return to the races in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita on Saturday. The Grade 2 event will be run at a mile and a sixteenth and has attracted a field of seven.