Juddmonte Farms' Filimbi, winner of the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes over a comebacking Dayatthespa, will attempt to repeat her advantage over that rival Aug. 23 in the $250,000 Ballston Spa Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga Race Course.
Last seen flying home with a four-wide closing drive under a hand ride in the De La Rose Aug. 2, Filimbi took the one-mile contest after a freshening of her own, having not started since a May 21 allowance victory at Belmont Park. The 4-year-old Mizzen Mast filly will make her graded stakes debut in her fourth outing in the U.S. for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott; she had seven starts in France before arriving stateside to garner a second and two wins this season.
Joel Rosario, who has ridden Filimbi in all of her U.S. starts, has the mount from the outside in a field of seven for the 1 1/16-mile inner turf event. It is her first time going the distance.
Dayatthespa, runner-up by 1 3/4 lengths after setting the pace in the De La Rose in her first start since December, looks for improvent for trainer Chad Brown. The 5-year-old City Zip mare strung together a trio of victories in 2012 including the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland. Last year at Saratoga, Dayatthespa won the 1 1/16-mile Yaddo over fellow New York-breds after pressing the pace for an ownership group that includes Jerry Frankel, Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon, and Bradley Thoroughbreds. Javier Castellano gets the return call from post 5.
The Ballston Spa could also be a chance for G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s Centre Court to return to the winner's circle for the first time since March. The Rusty Arnold trainee has taken a break since a fifth in the May 3 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes (gr. IIT), but owns victories in four grade II events in addition to the 2013 running of Keeneland's Jenny Wiley (gr. IT). Julien Leparoux rides the 5-year-old daughter of Smart Strike from post 2.
Saratoga Race Course , Saturday, August 23, 2014, Race 9
- 1 1/16m
- Inner turf
- 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
- 3:59 PM (local)
|1||Nellie Cashman (PA)||Forest Boyce||118||Francis Abbott, III|
|2||Centre Court (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||120||George R. Arnold, II|
|3||Abaco (KY)||Jose L. Ortiz||118||Claude R. McGaughey III|
|4||Strathnaver (GB)||John R. Velazquez||118||H. Graham Motion|
|5||Dayatthespa (NY)||Javier Castellano||118||Chad C. Brown|
|6||Night Song (KY)||Manuel Franco||118||Amy Tarrant|
|7||Filimbi (KY)||Joel Rosario||118||William I. Mott|