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The $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina Stakes (G1) is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) in November at Santa Anita Park.
Klaravich Stables' two-time Grade 1 winner Separationofpowers will look to add a third prestigious race to that list, staying at the same seven-furlong distance in which she won last out as part of an accomplished seven-horse field of fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up in the $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina on Saturday, Travers Day, at Saratoga Race Course.
Seperationofpowers has thrived at Saratoga, winning her debut at the historic track in July 2017 as a juvenile before running third in the Grade 1 Spinaway the same year in September. As a sophomore, the Chad Brown trainee won the Grade 1 Test at the Ballerina distance of seven furlongs before running fourth in the Grade 1 Cotillion in September at Parx.
Race 6 at Saratoga on Saturday, August 24 - Post 2:23 PM
|1||Special Relativity||12-1||David Cohen
|2||Come Dancing||6-5||Javier Castellano
|3||Pacific Gale||20-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|5||Mia Mischief||5-1||Ricardo Santana, Jr.
|6||Minit to Stardom||8-1||Alex Cintron
|7||Dawn the Destroyer||15-1||John Velazquez
Off that effort, Separationofpowers was given eight months off after a chip in her ankle required surgery. But following the respite, the Candy Ride filly ran third in the Grade 3 Vagrancy at 6 ½ furlongs on May 11 at Belmont before wiring the field in the Grade 3 Bed o'Roses on June 7 on Big Sandy, earning a personal-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure.
"It gives me a lot of confidence," Brown said of that effort. "At her age now, she appreciates more time between races."
Separationofpowers, 4-0-2 in nine career starts, has trained at Belmont since April, including eight works since the Bed o'Roses. Her last two breezes were on the training track including a four-furlong blowout in 49.77 seconds on August 17.
"We really like the way she's training," Brown said. "We came from Belmont for this race because she's a bit of a quirky horse to train and she found her comfort zone training there. So, we just stayed with it."
Jose Ortiz will have the return call from post 4.
Blue Devil Racing Stable's Come Dancing has reached triple digit Beyers in three of her last four starts and came close last out, garnering a 97 after running second to Midnight Bisou in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps on June 8, Belmont Stakes Day.
Conditioned by Carlos Martin, Come Dancing started her 5-year-old year with back-to-back wins, commencing with a 7 ¾-length drubbing of the field in the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap that earned her a 114 Beyer. She followed with another big score, besting the field by 6 ¾-lengths in the one-mile Grade 2 Ruffian on May 5 at Belmont.
A daughter of Malibu Moon Come Dancing is 6-2-0 in 11 career starts. She will have the services of Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, the winner of the 2011 Ballerina aboard Hilda's Passion, from post 2.
Mia Mischief will be seeking her second Grade 1 win in her 4-year-old campaign, adding to her win in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on May 4 at Churchill Downs. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Mia Mischief has three wins and a runner-up finish in five starts this year, with her only off-the-board finish coming with a fourth-place effort in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss at six furlongs on July 24 at the Spa.
The daughter of Into Mischief enjoyed success as a sophomore in the Capital Region, running second by a neck to Separationofpowers in the Grade 1 Test and returned to run second to Dream Tree in the Grade 2 Prioress last September. That came after he winning effort in the Grade 2 Eight Belles in May 2018.
"She's gorgeous physically and has run some excellent races. We're expecting her to repeat her [Humana] Distaff performance," Asmussen said. "Her two most impressive wins, the Humana Distaff and the Eight Belles, both came at seven-eighths of a mile. And she has been training beautifully and was second in the Test last year."
Ricarado Santana, Jr., aboard for her last 15 starts, will have the return engagement from post 5.
Stonestreet Stables' Dawn the Destroyer will be making her first Grade 1 start after running third in the Bed o'Roses, rallying from last of six to earn graded stakes blacktype for the third time in four starts in adding to the Distaff Handicap and the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie on February 16 at Laurel Park.
"It's a tough race, but there aren't that many spots for her. She's been training good, so we'll give it a try," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "We think she likes the distance and she deserves a chance in here."
Dawn the Destroyer will be returning to Saratoga for the first time since 2017, where she beat allowance company and ran third in the Grade 2 Prioress. Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who picked up the mount in the Bed o'Roses, will ride again, breaking from post 7.
Minit to Stardom enters with three straight wins, including a front-running 1 ½ length score in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss. The 4-year-old Star Guitar filly, conditioned by Jose Camejo, is 6-3-0 in 10 career starts and will be running at seven furlongs for just the second time and first since running sixth in last year's Grade 1 Test, marking her only career off-the-board finish. Alex Cintron, aboard for her winning streak, will ride again, breaking from post 6.
Pacific Gale has produced a slew of game efforts for trainer John Kimmel, posting back-to-back runner-up finishes in graded stakes in the Distaff and Vagrancy Handicap. She will look to bounce back after running last of sixth in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss last out. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will be in the irons from post 3.
Special Relativity, winner of the Shine Again on July 31 at Saratoga for trainer Robertino Diodoro, drew post 1 with jockey David Cohen. The 4-year-old daughter of Cowboy Cal is 4-for-4 lifetime at the Spa, with two wins in 2018 and a pair of victories in July as she seeks her third win of the meet.
Trained by Robertino Diodoro, the 4-year-old Cowboy Cal bay is a veteran of 20 career starts with a record of 7-3-3. The talented filly has raced, and won, twice at the current meet including a last-out score in the Shine Again at the seven-furlong Ballerina distance.
Diodoro said Special Relativity seems to be more relaxed at Saratoga.
"I think it's a little bit of the atmosphere here. Most horses do like it at Saratoga, but she's a little high-strung, and maybe she just likes the country atmosphere where we're stabled on the Oklahoma side," said Diodoro. "There's lots of trees and grass and she can graze at feed time. Other places aren't set up like Saratoga is, but a few of those things are certainly to her benefit.
"She also likes the deeper track," added Diodoro. "She works well over it in the mornings and her record at Saratoga speaks for itself."
Diodoro said Special Relativity, who earned a career-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure for her Shine Again win, is racing to her excellent training efforts in the morning.
"She ran exactly the way she was training into it," said Diodoro. "She trained and worked her best going into that race and she ran one of her best races for us. All horses, but I think especially on the female side, when you get them on track and have talent, they have a tendency to get on a bit of a roll.
"She's on a roll right now," continued Diodoro. "Her weight is good. Her coat looks great, and we couldn't ask for her to be feeling any better. She's a mare that loves her job and likes to train."
Claimed for $50,000 out of a winning effort on May 19, 2018 at Churchill Downs, Special Relativity has now won five races for new connections.
Diodoro said a solid pace expected in the Ballerina would play to Special Relativity's strengths as she makes her Grade 1 debut under regular pilot David Cohen.
"Her best running style is when there's some speed in there and she can settle in behind," said Diodoro. "Hopefully, we get a little bit of racing luck and Cohen can get her out and run them down."
Two-time graded stakes winner Come Dancing breezed from the starting gate on Sunday morning and drilled through five furlongs in 59.60 under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano - the fastest of 40 recorded works at the distance.
Second in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps last out, the Blue Devil Racing-owned Malibu Moon mare won the Grade 3 Distaff at Aqueduct, registering a 114 Beyer, and subsequently won the Grade 2 Ruffian at Belmont Park. She will cut back in distance for her next start, which is slated to take place in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina.
"She came out of the gate with Javier and worked beautiful," Martin said. "She won the seven-eighths Distaff impressively and last time everything didn't work out with stumbling at the start and having to go 1:09 and change with that beast Midnight Bisou behind us. Cutting back, the way she's been training, is ideal."
Come Dancing, a 5-year-old homebred, is out of the graded stakes-winning Tiznow broodmare Tizahit.
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