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Las Vegas, NV - Personal Ensign Handicap in Saratoga Springs, New York will play host to the Grade 1 Saratoga Race Course on Sunday, August 25. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/8 miles on Saratoga's dirt track searching for the winner's share of the $600,000 purse.
The Personal Ensign has attracted a small field of just five older females for race 10 on Saratoga's Sunday card. Post time is 5:50 PM. Let's take a look at the credentials of all five combatants for this Grade 1 stakes. The Personal Ensign is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race for the Distaff division.
Royal Delta - back-to-back Female Horse of the Year in the United States for trainer Bill Mott has looked exceptional of late except for a doomed trip to Dubai where she finished tenth in the World Cup. Before the trip she had three straight wins including the Grade 3 Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream, a repeat win in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic and a win in the Grade 1 Beldame at Belmont Park September 29. Last time out she returned to the winner's circle with an impressive 10 3/4 length score in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap after a decent second in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs June 15. She finished second in this race last year behind 10-1 shot Love and Pride and will be looking for a better result this year. Royal Delta is the overwhelming favorite at 2-5 odds and will break from post 2 with Mike Smith in the saddle.
Authenticity - Todd Pletcher trained mare made her stakes debut and finished a good second in the Grade 3 Rampart Stakes behind Ciao Bella at Gulfstream March 30 after two wins, a second and a third place finish in five career starts - the only out-of-the-money finish came in her debut. Last time out was a terrific win in the Grade 3 Shuvee Handicap here July 20 after very nice second in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap behind Tiz Miz Sue at Belmont Park May 27 and a true breakthrough performance - a win in the Grade 2 La Troienne Stakes over On Fire Baby at Churchill Downs May 3. She has alternated wins and seconds in her last five starts - if the pattern holds true Authenticity is due for a second place finish! Authenticity strangely enough is the second choice on the morning line at 7-2 odds and will be ridden by Javier Velazquez from post 5.
On Fire Baby - endured nearly a year away from racing after being sidelined and a fourth in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes May 28, 2012. She returned to action in April of this year and incredibly posted victory in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park and followed that with a second last time out in the Grade 2 La Troienne Stakes behind Authenticity at Churchill Downs in May. She has five wins, a second and a third place finish in 10 career starts and proved in her last two starts that a layoff didn't affect her all that much. On Fire Baby breaks from the rail as the 5-1 third choice.
Centring - has 11 career starts for trainer Thomas Albertini with two wins, four seconds and a third place finish. Her first stakes action came in November - a fifth in the Grade 3 La Prevoyante Handicap at Calder and her other stakes action resulted in a fourth last time out in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap and a respectable third in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont Park May 27. She raced to a second to Disposablepleasure March 17 in an Allowance Optional Claiming and a fourth in February in a similar race. Centring is 12-1 on the morning line and departs from post 4 looking for her first ever stakes victory.
Personal Ensign Handicap betting at Saratoga Race Course with OffTrackBetting.com
Open Water - has been rather hit or miss for trainer Eric Guillot the last couple of years. She won the Grade 2 Marjorie Everett Handicap in May after a sixth in her first race of 2013 - the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes in January. Since her Everett score she has not been great - a fifth in the Grade 1 Vanity in June and a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Saratoga July 22 and an eighth last time out in the minor De La Rose Stakes here August 3. She placed in four of seven graded staked races in 2012 but was typically inconsistent along the way. She has three wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 17 career starts and enters the Personal Ensign in some sketchy form. But we've said that in the past and she has some out and shocked the field! Open Water is the longest shot in the field at 20-1 odds.
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