From Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Newsletter
While Saturday’s $1 million Travers (gr. I) for 3-year-olds will occupy center stage at Saratoga, the “Win and You’re In” action takes place Friday and Sunday, respectively, with the Ballerina (gr. I) and Personal Ensign (gr. I), both offering guaranteed berths into Breeders’ Cup races Friday, Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
The $600,000 Personal Ensign, run at 1 1/8 miles, will award a berth into the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I).
Besilu Stable’s Royal Delta, the reigning 3-year-old filly champion and 2011 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner looms an imposing favorite in the Personal Ensign for trainer Bill Mott. The 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker won the Alabama (gr. I) last year and already secured a Ladies’ Classic berth with her win in Delaware Park’s Delaware Handicap (gr. II) in her last start July 21, where she defeated potential Personal Ensign rival Tiz Miz Sue by a neck. Royal Delta has won 2-of-4 this year, including Churchill’s Fleur de Lis (gr. II) in June and has won 7-of-12 lifetime.
Cresra’s homebred Tiz Miz Sue was a game second to Royal Delta and has been fine form all season for trainer Steve Hobby. The 5-year-old daughter of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow won Oaklawn Park’s Azeri (gr. III) in March, has placed in all six starts this year, was third in last year’s Personal Ensign, and has won 6-of-26 lifetime.
Godolphin Racing’s It's Tricky, undefeated in three starts this year, also warrants a long look for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The 4-year-old daughter of Mineshaft won the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) last year and is 8-for-12 lifetime.