Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes is on tap from a busy Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York this Saturday, August 29. A purse of $500,000 will be on the line for fillies and mares three years old and upward willing to go seven furlongs on Saratoga's dirt track.
The Ballerina Stakes has attracted a stellar field of eight older females to go in race 7 on Saratoga's packed Saturday card. Post time is 3:10 PM. Let's take a glance into the past performances of all eight entries for this intriguing Grade 1 stakes.
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2015 Ballerina Stakes Race Favorite Entries
La Verdad 5-2 - speedy Linda Rice trained mare has 14 wins and two second place finishes in 20 career starts and enters on a terrific four race win streak - by an impressive four lengths in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap here July 29, the minor Dancin Rose Stakes June 28, the Grade 1 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park in May and a good win by 5 1/4 lengths in the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap (for the second straight year) at Aqueduct April 18. She did have a disappointing seventh in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap in November but posted a win in the minor Iroquois Stakes October 18 and a good second in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap September 20 before that. She also had a five race win streak in the spring of 2014 - the minor Dancin Renee Stakes July 3, the minor Critical Eye Stakes May 31, the 2014 Distaff Handicap and the minor Broadway Stakes in March and another five race win streak earlier in her career as well. La Verdad has been as competitive as they come but has delivered the occasional dud as well. Jockey Jose Ortiz will try to make it five straight wins on the morning line favorite when they depart from gate 2.
Dame Dorothy 3-1 - impressive Todd Pletcher trained filly has nine career starts - seven wins, a second and a third place finish. She enters off a great win in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap June 20 which followed another win - over champion Judy the Beauty in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs May 2, a second in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita March 15 and a nice 2 length win in the listed Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff. She also had an OK third in the Grade 3 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct November 29, a win in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm Stakes at Belmont Park in October and a win in her stakes debut - the minor Malvern Rose Stakes in August. Dame Dorothy has been superb in her career so car and is expected to be competitive again Saturday. She will have Javier Castellano in the saddle from gate 6 looking to keep the impressive run going.
Ballerina Stakes 2015 | Remaining Contenders
Merry Meadow 7-2 - multiple Grade 3 winner Mark Hennig trained filly placed in six of eight starts last year and enters this week having won two of her three starts this year - the Grade 2 Princess Rooney Stakes at Gulfstream July 5 and a superb 9 1/2 length win in the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie Stakes February 14 with a sixth in the Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes sandwiched in there. She ended 2014 with two straight wins - by 1 1/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes and a victory by 1 3/4 lengths in the minor Sky Beauty Stakes November 1 at Gulfstream Park West. Other good results include a second in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap last June and a terrific win in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap by 3 3/4 lengths at 6-1 odds May 17, 2014. She now has 28 career starts with nine wins, 10 seconds and five third place finishes and will be looking to make it four straight wins Saturday. Merry Meadow has placed in 24 of 28 career starts and has won four of her last five starts overall - impressive. Joel Rosario has been tabbed with keeping the roll going from post 3 Saturday.
Unbridled Forever 5-1 - has three wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 11 career starts - the wins including the minor Shine Again Stakes on this track last time out August 5, a maiden score November 30 and a nice win in the listed Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds in January. She posted three consecutive third place finished in 2014 - behind Untapable in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks March 29, behind Beholder in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 2 and in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park June 7. She then raced to a good second behind Stopchargingmaria in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks last July 20 followed by a disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes in August. Unbridled Forever makes just her second start of the year Saturday when she departs from post 7 with legendary jockey John Velazquez guiding her.
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Room for Me 6-1 - raced in graded stakes company for the first time May 16 and finished a good second in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park - a result that was followed by a dominant 3 3/4 length Allowance Optional Claiming score May 25. She enters off a nice win in the minor Regret Stakes at Monmouth Park August 1 after a fourth in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap June 20. Room for Me also had three straight wins by a combined 27 1/4 lengths to start her year and now has five wins and a second in her last seven starts overall - pretty good. She has been very competitive this year and looks for her first graded stakes score Saturday when she leaves from gate 4 with Cornelio Velasquez guiding her.
Street Story 10-1 - won the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont Park last June 29 and has been up and down since - very good the last five months however. She enters on the heels of consecutive runner-up finishes - in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap here July 29 and the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap in June and before that she returned to the winner's circle in the Grade 3 Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill Downs May 25 - a result that followed another second in the minor Carousel Stakes at Oaklawn Park April 8. She has a win and three seconds (all stakes) in her last four starts overall and could be a factor Saturday. Jose Lezcano gets the call from the outside post 8.
Kiss to Remember 15-1 - Martin Wolfson trained filly has 18 career starts with five wins, six seconds and two third place finishes and has placed in three of her last four starts. Last time out was a good win in the minor Monroe Handicap at Gulfstream July 25 after a good third in the Grade 3 Princess Rooney Stakes July 5 also at Gulfstream and a fourth in the minor Minnesota HBPA Distaff June 6. She has placed in both of her graded stakes starts (the other being a second in the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks in September) and looks for her first win against top company. Irad Ortiz gets the call from post 5.
Sarah Sis 20-1 - won the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 7, but stumbled to a fifth in the Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes in April- both at Oaklawn Park. She enters on a nice two race win streak - the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks last time out June 27 followed a minor Panthers Stakes score at Prairie Meadows in May. They followed a DNF in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks four weeks prior to that. She also had a pair of runner-up finishes in minor stakes action- the Martha Washington Stakes and the Dixie Belle Stakes both in January. Sarah Sis has five wins and three second place finishes in 10 career starts and looks to make it three straight wins Saturday. Julio Felix rides from the rail.
2015 Ballerina Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 7 on Saratoga Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:10 PM.
|1||Sarah Sis||J. Felix||I. Mason|
|2||La Verdad||J. Ortiz||L. Rice|
|3||Merry Meadow||J. Rosario||M. Hennig|
|4||Room for Me||C. Velasquez||D. Jacobson|
|5||Kiss to Remember||I. Ortiz, Jr.||M. Wolfson|
|6||Dame Dorothy||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher|
|7||Unbridled Forever||J. Velazquez||D. Stewart|
|8||Street Story||J. Lezcano||S. Asmussen|