Come Dancing will be looking for a repeat victory in the $300,000 Grade I Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday as the six-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon looks to punch her return ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, which she'll get by winning this race as it is part of the Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' challenge. She leads the seven-deep field and If she succeeds then it’ll only be the second time a horse has won this race on back-to-back occasions with Shine Again who did it in the early part of this century.
It hasn’t been the best of years so far for the Carlos Martin trained horse as with only two runs and one place finish to her name, Come Dancing won’t be rocking up to Saratoga with form behind her but he believes that she’ll be game and will be up at the pointy end of the race.
Serengeti Empress will be a name most Horse Players will know as the 2019 Kentucky Oaks winner has drawn the inside Post Position for Saturday’s race. Since her win around Churchill Downs last May, Joel Politi’s horse has only tasted victory once in eight outings, that coming at Oaklawn Park for the Grade II Azeri in March.
Since that run she has been off the boil with an 11th place finish at the Apple Blossom along with coming in fourth at the Fleur de Lis. Moving back to seven-furlongs for the first time since running Covfefe close in the Grade I Test Stakes may well be a wise move as he looks to get the horse back to the top of her game.
Another horse to watch will be Bellafina who has three Grade I victories to her name. Those wins have come in a range of distances from six furlongs up to a mile and a sixteenth. She was runner-up to Covfefe in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint a year ago and is surely a contender come Saturday.
Pink Sands, Victim of Love and Cookie Dough all have Graded Stakes wins to their name but are yet to taste victory in a Grade I. Outsider Letruska will be stepping up in class for Saturday’s race.
Our in-house handicapper will be back on Friday with his race preview and of course those all important Picks.