Las Vegas, NV - Travers Day weekend officially kicks off this Friday August 23 with the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes - a seven furlong dash for fillies and mares three years old and upward on Saratoga's main track. A nice purse of $500,000 is on the line Friday for some of the top filly and mare sprinters in the land.
The Ballerina has attracted a strong field of seven females to go in race 9 on Saratoga's Friday card. Post time is 5:30 PM for this Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race for female sprinters. Here is a glimpse into the past performances of the seven and what we can expect this Friday.
2012 Ballerina Stakes Race Favorites
Turbulent Decent - won the Grade 1 Test Stakes on this track a year ago and is coming off a win in the Desert Stormer Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 17 after a nearly seven month layoff. Turbulent Decent ended 2011 with some disappointing results - a sixth in the Grade 1 La Brea and a fifth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup before the layoff but a win last time out has put her firmly back on the radar. She has seven wins and two seconds in 11 career starts.
It's Tricky - Has finished first or second in each of her last eight starts and in 11 of 12 career starts - eight wins and three seconds including three straight graded stakes wins - the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps last time out, the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap on April 14 and the Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap in March. Another impressive result is a second in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic in November. It's Tricky is fast - but most of her results have come over much longer distances, around a single turn. That said - It's Tricky is a classy filly that should contend Friday.
Ballerina Stakes 2012 | Remaining Field Entries
Derwin's Star - started the year with a seventh in the Florida Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint Stakes and has followed it up with a win in a Starter Handicap at Aqueduct on April 22. Derwin's Star was an OK third in the My Juliet Stakes at Parx Racing in May but followed it up with an impressive win in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap at Belmont on July 1. If it wasn't for an ugly seventh in the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher last time out, Derwin's Star may be in the Race Favorites category - she does have three wins in four starts over this distance.
Ballerina Stakes betting at Saratoga with OffTrackBetting.com
Nicole H - started 2012 with two wins and a second place finish but has struggled a tad since. The wins included the Interborough Stakes and the Correction Stakes both at Aqueduct before a second at the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie Handicap on February 18 at Laurel Park. She went on to record consecutive fourth place finishes at the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap and the My Juliet Stakes at Parx Racing on May 26 before bouncing back with a couple of good efforts most recently - a second in the Grade 2 Vagrancy and a second last time out in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder on July 7. Nicole H is a previous Grade 2 winner and is definitely a sneaky entry in this race.
Belle of the Hall is graded stakes placed and a multiple stakes winner that has recorded a pair of pedestrian fourths in her last two starts - the Grade 2 Vagrancy on June 2 and the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap here last time out on August 3. Before that she finished second in the Marta Stakes on this track on May 9 and was a distant ninth in the Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes at Gulfstream. Belle of the Hall did win an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream on January 20 for her only win since October 2010.
Island Bound - has been good so far in 2012 - three wins and four second place finishes in six starts this year. Her most impressive win came in the Grade 3 Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 2 in her graded stakes debut. Island Bound's other two wins this year came in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Tampa Bay in February and an Allowance on that same track in January. Her seconds this year have included the Sugar Maple Stakes, the Langhorne Stakes and at the tough Grade 2 Honorable Miss Stakes last time out here on August 3.
All Due Respect - ended 2011 with three straight placings including a win, a second and a third place finish but 2012 has been a tad disappointing - a third to start the year in the Ocala Stakes was followed by an eighth in an Allowance Optional Claiming and a sixth last time out in the Voodoo Dancer Stakes on July 8.
2012 Ballerina Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 9 on Saratoga's Friday card with a Post Time of 5:30 PM.
|1||Island Bound||J. Leparoux||I. Wilkes|
|2||All Due Respect||J. Rosario||R. Dutrow, Jr.|
|3||It's Tricky||E. Castro||K. McLaughlin|
|4||Belle of the Hall||I. Ortiz, Jr.||T. Albertrani|
|5||Nicole H||R. Dominguez||M. Hushion|
|6||Turbulent Descent||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher|
|7||Derwin's Star||D. Cohen||S. Klesaris|