The first three finishers from July 4’s Prioress Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park will stretch out an extra furlong and knock heads once again in the Aug. 7 Test Stakes (gr. I) going seven furlongs at Saratoga.
The contest for 3-year-old fillies drew a field of 10 runners, with Prioress queen Franny Freud, a New York-bred, leading the parade. After winning the Ontario Debutante Stakes last year at 2, the John Terranova-trained Franny Freud won four stakes events for state-breds in addition to the Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland last April before stepping up and taking the Prioress by 1 3/4 lengths under Garrett Gomez, who rides her back in the Test.
Champagne d'Oro was the Prioress runner-up. In her previous tussle June 5, she won the Betfair TVG Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont, and she will try to outduel Franny Freud in the Test.
Third in the Prioress, Bonnie Blue Flag will tackle the Prioress top two for trainer Bob Baffert. Owned by Peachtree Stable, Bonnie Blue Flag proved best in the Cinemine Stakes at Lone Star Park in May.
Another entrant in top form is Pica Slew, a Florida-bred coming into the Test off a victory in the July 10 Azalea Stakes (gr. III) at Calder. She has won three of four lifetime starts, including a win in the Leave Me Alone Stakes also at Calder.
The runner-up in the Azalea, Buckleupbuttercup, will also go postward in the Test. She has hit the board in eight of nine lifetime starts, including a victory in the May 1 Eight Belles Stakes (gr. III) on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs. Buckleupbuttercup was fifth in the Acorn.
Tidal Pool, who ran third behind Blind Luck and Evening Jewel in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) April 30 and third in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) in her next out, seeks to improve after finishing off the board in the Acorn.
Lovely Lil will step up into stakes company for the first time after winning her maiden by seven lengths and an allowance contest by eight July 4. Belle of the Hall, winner of the Jostle Stakes at Philly Park last out June 12, is also perfect, having won all three of her races for West Point Thoroughbreds.
Ash Zee has a Saratoga win under her belt at this meet and hopes to add a stakes victory to her record.
Test Stakes (gr. I), Saratoga, seven furlongs, 3-year-old fillies, dirt, Aug. 7, approx. post 5:14 p.m. EDT
PP) Horse (Jockey, wgt)
1) Pica Slew (M R Cruz, 118)
2) Buckleupbuttercup (Julien Leparoux, 118)
3) Champagne d’Oro (Miguel Mena, 122)
4) Bonnie Blue Flag (John Velazquez, 116)
5) Franny Freud (Garrett Gomez, 122)
6) Lovely Lil (Alan Garcia, 116)
7) Belle of the Hall (Ramon Dominguez, 116)
8) Ash Zee (Rajiv Maragh, 116)
9) Christine Daae (Pablo Fragoso, 116)
10) Tidal Pool (Calvin Borel, 116)