NYRA has released the probables for the six supporting stakes on Saturday’s blockbuster Travers Day program.
The $1 million Sword Dancer (G1), a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1): Last year’s Turf runner-up Flintshire is expected from France, while German Group 2 winner Guardini is slated to debut for Paul Harley en route to a likely Australian campaign. Trainer Graham Motion sends out his promising recruit Messi, who’s captured both stateside starts. Also likely to line up are Imagining, Twilight Eclipse, Red Rifle, War Dancer, and Fixador, who’s yet to reproduce his Brazilian Triple Crown-winning form in his three U.S. appearances.
The $750,000 Personal Ensign (G1), a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1): Champion Untapable is expected to renew rivalry wit Stopchargingmaria, who upset her in the Shuvee (G3) last out. Sheer Drama, Got Lucky, and Tiz Windy are other probables, while the list of “possibles” comprises America, Call Pat, House Rules, Kiss to Remember and Yahilwa.
The $700,000 Forego (G1), a “Win & You’re In” for the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1): The ever-gutsy multiple Grade 1 star Private Zone tops a projected cast that includes The Big Beast, Race Day, Salutos Amigos, Wildcat Red, Tamarkuz, Bourbon Courage and Viva Majorca. Falling Sky is possible.
The $500,000 Ballerina (G1), a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1): Seven-furlong specialist Dame Dorothy is headed for a clash with speed merchant La Verdad, as well as Merry Meadow, Street Story, Sarah Sis, Unbridled Forever and Room for Me. There are three possibles — Classic Point, Kiss to Remember and perhaps most intriguingly, former Canadian champion three-year-old filly Leigh Court.
The $500,000 King’s Bishop (G1) for sophomores will lure Competitive Edge. Victorious in the Hopeful (G1) at this track and seven-furlong trip last summer, the Todd Pletcher pupil shortens up off a fourth to American Pharoah when trying two turns in the Haskell (G1). The streaking Holy Boss, who won the Amsterdam (G2) as the local prep; March; the well-traveled Mr. Z; Grand Bili; Classy Class, Commute, Limousine Liberal, Loose on the Town and Runhappy are all in the competitive mix. Far Right may cut back in trip after failing to sparkle since leaving Oaklawn.
The $400,000 Ballston Spa (G2) marks the U.S. debuts of Chilean star Dacita, the champion two-year-old turf filly in her homeland and a dual fillies’ classic winner at three, as well as multiple English Group 3 victress New Providence. They will meet the past two winners of the Just a Game — Coffee Clique (2014) and Tepin (2015), the heroic near-misser in the nine-furlong Diana (G1), who figures to enjoy reverting to 1 1/16 miles here. My Miss Sophia, Solid Appeal, and Recepta round out the probable squad.