Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes comes our way this Saturday, August 29 from Saratoga Race Course in New York. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will line up on Saratoga's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles searching for the winner's portion of the $750,000 purse.
A small but superb field of six will take to the track in the Personal Ensign - race 6 on Saratoga's Travers Day Saturday schedule. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all six entries for this lucrative Grade 1 stakes - a "Win and You're In" event for the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff.
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2015 Personal Ensign Stakes Race Favorite Entries
Stopchargingmaria 2-1 - multiple graded stakes winning Todd Pletcher trained filly enters on a two-race Grade 3 winning streak - the Shuvee Handicap here August 2 and the Distaff Stakes at Pimlico in May. Before that she had consecutive runner-up finishes - the Grade 1 Madison Stakes at Keeneland in April and in the Grade 1 Beldame Stakes in her first start against older competition - at Belmont Park way back in September. She also had a three race win streak at this time last year - the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes in August, the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico May 16 and in dominating fashion in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks by five lengths July 20. Other good results include a nice win in the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct November 30, 2013, an equally impressive win by 10 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Tempted Stakes November 3 of that year, a third in the Grade 1 Frizette and a second in the Grade 1 Spinaway. Stopchargingmaria now has eight wins (seven graded stakes), three seconds and a third place finish in 14 career starts and has five wins and two seconds in her last seven - as competitive as they come the last 16 months. Javier Castellano will be in the irons of the morning line favorite Saturday from gate 4 looking to keep an impressive run going on a track she has four wins and a second in five career starts.
Untapable 5-2 - five-time Grade 1 winner, Steve Asmussen trained reigning 3-year-old champion filly had four straight graded stakes scores to start 2014 - the Grade 1 Mother Goose June 28, by 4 1/2 lenghts, the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 2, the Grade 2 Fair Ground Oaks March 29 and the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes on that same track in February. She followed that with a disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Haskell - her worst performance since an eighth in the 2013 Breeders' Cup. She has been very good the last 13 months - three wins and three second place finishes. She enters on the heels of two of those runner-up finishes - behind Stopchargingmaria in the Grade 3 Shuvee Handicap here August 2 and the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Stakes in June. Before that she had a win in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap, a second in the Grade 1 Azeri Stakes and a career highlight win in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Untapable now has an impressive nine wins, three seconds and a third place finish in 15 career starts and is expected to be competitive again Saturday from gate 6. The legendary John Velazquez gets the call.
Personal Ensign Stakes 2015 | Remaining Contenders
Sheer Drama 3/1 - won the minor Thirty Eight Go Go Stakes at Laurel Park in September and went on to a ninth in the minor H.B.P.A Stakes at Presque Isle Downs September 25. She has been consistently good in six starts in 2015 however - a win last time out in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap July 18 and in the Grade 2 Royal Delta Stakes at Gulfstream in March and four runner-up finishes - all in stakes company. Before her win in July Sheer Drama had consecutive second place finishes -behind Frivolous as favorite in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap June 13 and the Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes May 1 - both results at Churchill Downs. Sheer Drama now has 18 career starts overall with five wins, eight seconds and a third place finish and enters this week having been in every race the last seven months - not worse than second in her last six. Joe Bravo has been tabbed to ride the morning line third choice from gate 2 Saturday.
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Got Lucky 4-1 - has five wins and five second place finishes in 14 career starts and enters on a nice two race win streak - the minor Lady's Secret Stakes August 2 and the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher Stakes July 3 - both results at Monmouth Park by a combined 10 lengths. She also has three runner-up finishes in graded stakes action in 2013/2014. Got Lucky is in the best form of her career ahead of this weekend and could be a sneaky threat after three wins and a second place finish in five starts this year. Irad Ortiz gets the call from post 5.
America 12-1 - Bill Mott trained filly won three straight races this past winter - the best of which was the minor Affectionately Stakes at Aqueduct in January. She has placed in just one of three starts since - that being a third last time out in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap July 18. Before that was a fifth in the Grade 1 Fleur de Lis Handicap in June and a seventh in the Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes in May. She has placed in three of 10 graded stakes starts (all third place finishes) and will be in search of a huge breakthrough performance Saturday from the rail with Junior Alvarado aboard.
Tiz Windy 15/1 - Carl Nafzger trained mare has four wins and four third place finishes in her last 12 starts overall and enters on the heels of consecutive third place finishes - the Grade 3 Shuvee Handicap last time out August 2 at Saratoga and the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap in June at Churchill Downs. She failed to place in her previous four starts however. Tiz Windy won the Grade 2 Indiana Oaks in October which followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score but has been a tad up and down in her career. She is in OK form ahead of this week and will be after her first win since October when Julien Leparoux gets the call from post 3.
2015 Personal Ensign Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 6 on Saratoga Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 2:35 PM.