The Travers day card at Saratoga features six Grade I stakes in a row. The Mid-Atlantic region sends out four seven furlong specialists, two gals and two guys, in the Ballerina and Forego. Let’s look at the Ballerina first.
The now $500,000 Ballerina was established in 1979. Named after a famous horse, Ballerina, who won the Maskette Stakes in 1954, this seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares three and up, is an automatic qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
Dame Dorothy, a four year old Pennsylvania-bred filly, is looking to cook up a win, as her owner is renowned chef Bobby Flay. Coming off of two consecutive graded wins, this filly has the prime connections of jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Todd Pletcher. Bred by Derry Meeting Farm and by Bernardini – Vole Vole Monamour, by Woodman, Dame Dorothy figures to be taken very seriously by the public. She is 3/1 morning line.
Not to be overlooked, Kiss to Remember, also a 4 year old filly, hailing from Maryland, draws Saratoga’s leading jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. Coming out of Florida, and exhibiting a blistering 4 furlong workout of 46 seconds at Gulfstream, speed shouldn’t be the issue for this gal. Florida-based Martin Wolfson trains this horse for the Miller Racing stables. She derives her speed from her father, the famous Triple Crown contender Big Brown, and her mother’s side of the family Taft Lil Queen, by Irish Open. Bred by Big Brown Syndicate and Mr. and Mrs. Charles McGinnes, Kiss to Remember would certainly love to be running at Keeneland in late October. Morning line odds of 15/1.
The $700,000 Grade I Forego Stakes, race 9 on the 13 race Traver’s card, is also a win and you’re in Breeders’ Cup affair. These males will try to emulate the great Forego, a 1973 classmate of Secretariat, who some may argue may have had a more distinguished lifetime career than Big Red. Forego, a gelding, won horse of the year three consecutive times, and won at distances ranging from 6 furlongs to two miles. This Hall of Fame runner has to be mentioned as one of the greatest geldings ever to take to the racetrack.
The Big Beast, a Maryland-bred, is no stranger to Saratoga. The winner of last year’s King’s Bishop at the Spa, he most recently ran here August 1st in the Vanderbilt Handicap, narrowly missing the Saratoga winner’s circle. His connections, rider John Velazquez and trainer Anthony Dutrow, are busy mapping out strategy for this Grade I contest. “The Beast’s” owner, Alex and Joann Lieblong, and breeder, Green Willow Farms, are hoping for one thing, their colt to run just a little bit faster. By Yes It’s True – VVS Flawless, by Deputy Minister, this entry is morning line 5/2.
Falling Sky, a 5 year old Pennsylvania bred horse, is stabled in the barn of Martin Wolfson, also the trainer of Kiss to Remember.. Wolfson has engaged the services of jockey Jose Ortiz for owner Newtown Anner Stud and Joseph Bulger. Bred by Copper Penny Stables and by Lion Heart – Sea Dragoness, by Sea Hero, this horse hopes to follow in the footsteps of his famous damsire, and someday have a statue on the Saratoga grounds. He is morning line 20/1.