She loves the track, the distance and has the meet’s leading trainer. She has won three graded stakes in a row and also won this race last year. If you’re going back My Typhoon, the time to do it is in the $200,000 Ballston Spa Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga Aug. 23
My Typhoon is coming off a victory in the Diana Stakes (gr. I) July 28, her third victory over the Saratoga turf. If the 5-year-old mare is victorious Thursday, she will become only the second horse to win both the Diana and the Ballston Spa in the same season. Memories of Silver did it in 1998. She is also trying to become the second horse to win the Ballston Spa twice (Weekend Madness, 1994-95).
With eight-time Saratoga leading trainer Bill Mott at the helm, My Typhoon figures to be in tip-top shape for 1 1/16-mile test on the turf. Mott has had a stellar meet, the leader in wins by a wide margin. The Hall of Fame trainer said 26 days of rest is not a big concern for the champion mare.
“It looks like she has come back from everything good,” said Bill Mott. “She has always shown affection for this race track and that’s why we’d consider running her back on only about three weeks rest.
“We’re happy with the way she has been training. She has been galloping well. She had a nice breeze and she comes alive here. She broke her maiden here and she seems to run well here every time. She likes the course.”
A daughter of Giant's Causeway , out of Urban Sea, My Typhoon has won nine of 19 lifetime races and has been in the money in all but four. She has earned over $1.3 million for Live Oak Plantation. Bred in Ireland by Sunderland Holdings, My Typhoon is five-for-six at 1 1/16-mile. She will carry a race-high 122 pounds in the field of nine. Eddie Castro will ride.
One of My Typhoon’s main challengers will be Wait a While. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the 4-year-old daughter of Maria's Mon, out of Flirtatious, has won her share of graded stakes as well, six of her eight lifetime victories coming at that level. Wait a While, who has earned over $1.4 million for Arindel Farm, was most successful in 2006, when she won four consecutive graded events and was named champion 3-year-old filly.
Wait a While did win the Honey Fox Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream in March, but has been beaten soundly by My Typhoon in her last two, the Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. II) and most recently, the Just a Game Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont June 9. In that one, My Typhoon was 3 ¾-lengths better.
“She has been as good as she was last year,” Pletcher said. “We’ve been pretty unlucky so far. She ran well the first time coming back this year. In her next race in the Jenny Wiley, she ran on the Polytrack after it was taken off the turf. In the Just A Game, we let My Typhoon get an easy lead and couldn’t quite run her down. She has been fine since shipping in from Churchill Downs.”
Trainer Christopher Clement also has a pair of capable 4-year-old fillies a well, in Meribel and Vacare. Meribel, by Peaks and Valleys, out of Count to Six, was fourth in the Diana, but closed well on a slow pace and was beaten by less than two lengths. She has won twice at Saratoga.
Vacare is five-for-six in her career, her only defeat in her most recent start, the Gamely Stakes (gr. I) at Hollywood Park. The daughter of Lear Fan, she has won three stakes for Jon and Sarah Kelly.
Also in the field are Dance Away Capote, Pommes Frites (also trained by Mott), Amansara, Mauralakana and Iron Goddess. Post time is 4:48 p.m. EDT.
$200,000 Ballston Spa Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 8, 4:48 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Meribel (KY), 117, John Velazquez
2. Vacare (KY), 119, Edgar Prado
3. My Typhoon (IRE), 122, Eddie Castro
4. Dance Away Capote (KY), 115, Alan Garcia
5. Pomms Frites (KY), 117, Cornelio Velasquez
6. Amansara (KY), 114, Ramon Dominguez
7. Wait a While (KY), 121, Garrett Gomez
8. Mauralakana (FR), 117, Julien Leparoux
9. Iron Goddess (NY), 113, Channing Hill
Mauralakana will race with blinkers.