Blue Devil Racing Stable’s homebred COME DANCING earned an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) following a superb 3 1/2-length romp in Saturday’s $480,000 Ballerina Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. The Kentucky-bred got off slowly when last early, eased her way into striking position nearing the top of the lane, and dominated her foes down the stretch to earn her initial Grade 1 victory.
Trained by Carlos Martin, the five-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon has won three graded stakes from four tries in 2019 and established herself as a top contender in her division. The lone horse to finish ahead of Come Dancing this season is the mighty Midnight Bisou, who was an ultra-game winner of the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) on Saturday to remain unblemished in 2019.
The late-running Dawn the Destroyer finished second in the Ballerina while Saratoga-specialist Special Relativity earned show honors. The pair of flops in the field followed, with 2-1 second choice Separationofpowers fourth and Grade-1 heroine Mia Mischief trailing the cast.
I will give the latter pair a pass for running over a surface that proved difficult for horses being forwardly placed. But, the clock is ticking for the duo to prove their mettle as legitimate contenders on November 3 in the November 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.
Here is my current top six in the Filly and Mare Sprint division:
- Marley’s Freedom — Mare has been top-two in eight of her last nine graded races
- Come Dancing — Ballerina performance cemented status as major Cup contender
- Anonymity — Mandella mare has home-court advantage at Santa Anita
- Covfefe — Test heroine is capable of ‘running off the screen’ at times
- Stormy Embrace — Sunshine State queen has dominated her last pair
- Chalon — Defending runner-up is on track for another go in 2019