Review of Ketel One Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga on August 25

Race 8. Ketel One Ballerina Stakes , Grade I. For fillies and mare three-year-old and up at 7 furlongs on dirt. Purse $700,000.

The Ketel One Ballerina has been selected as one of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Races. The Ballerina is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Tequilita Manuel Franco Michael R. Matz 20/1
2 Ivy Bell Javier Castellano Todd A. Pletcher 5/1
3 Still There David Cohen Dane Kobiskie 12/1
4 Cairenn Jose Ortiz Graham Motion 15/1
5 Finley’sluckycharm Brian  Hernandez, Jr. W. Bret Calhoun 3/1
6 Lewis Bay Irad Ortiz, Jr. Chad Brown 3/1
7 Marley’s Freedom Mike Smith Bob Baffert 5/2
8 Union Strike Ricardo Santana, Jr. Steve Asmussen 15/1
9 Highway Star Luis Saez Rodrigo Ubillo 10/1

 

Tequilita broke through with a win in her fourth race and then followed with a victory in the Smart Halo Stakes at Laurel Park to close her 2-year-old season. The bay Union Rags filly made her first start in 2017 in the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes at Gulfstream Park, where she charged from off the pace to prevail by a half-length and extend her winning streak to three.

Lewis Bay won two of her first three races, including a clear win in the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct in November of her 2-year-old season. She finished second to Cathyrn Sophia in the Grade II Davona Dale Stakes before rebounding to win the Grade 2 Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct in her final prep race for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks. In the Kentucky Oaks, Lewis Bay challenged for the lead near the top of the stretch but could not keep pace with Cathryn Sophia and faded to finish third.

After winning only one of eight starts as a 3-year-old in 2016, Ivy Bell started to put it together at four. She won a pair of allowance races at    Churchill Downs to begin 2017 before finishing second in the Chicago Handicap in her stakes debut. She then scored a breakthrough first stakes win in the West Virginia Secretary of State Stakes. She closed her 2017 season with a pair of runner-up finishes in stakes races.

Ivy Bell made her 5-year-old debut in the Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes  and rallied from off the pace to earn her first graded stakes win.

Cairenn ran third in the Bed o‘ Roses. Lewis Bay was the winner followed by Highway Star.

Finley’sluckycharm opened her career with back-to-back victories before an unplaced finish when stretching out in distance in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes. Returning to sprints, Finley’sluckycharm found her groove, winning three races by a combined margin of 20 3/4 lengths before a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes. In her 2017 debut, Finley’sluckycharm won the Roxelana Stakes at Churchill Downs. She then coasted to a front-running runaway victory in the Grade 3 Winning Colors Stakes in May and added a victory in the Grade III Chicago Handicap.

Marley’s Freedom broke her maiden at Del Mar in her third start in September 2017. She won again at Del Mar later that year and in 2018 reached top form with a second in a graded stakes, an allowance win, and then a dominant 7 ¼-length score in the Grade 3 Desert Stormer Stakes at Santa Anita on May 27.

 

Union Strike finished second behind American Cleopatra in her career debut but broke her maiden in her next start, defeating that rival plus five others in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante.

 

Highway Star emerged as a stakes-caliber competitor in 2016, winning a listed stakes at Aqueduct in the fall and then taking the Grade III Go for Wand Handicap. After finishing fourth in her 2017 debut, she rebounded to win the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct with a late rally on April 9. She followed with a victory in the Grade 2 Ruffian Stakes.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • Ivy Bell
  • Finley’sluckycharm
  • Lewis Bay

 

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