Juddmonte Farms' prohibitive favorite Sightseek cruised to her third straight grade I victory Sunday for jockey Jerry Bailey and trainer Bobby Frankel, dusting her five opponents by 11 1/2 lengths in the $250,000 Go for Wand for fillies and mares at Saratoga.
Sightseek, racing third into the final turn of the 1 1/8-mile Go for Wand, absolutely inhaled pacesetter Miss Linda at the top of the stretch and went on to an overwhelming victory. New York bred She's Got The Beat, who tracked Sightseek into the stretch with Jean-Luc Samyn aboard, was no match for the winner, but finished five lengths clear of late-rallying Nonsuch Bay and Eibar Coa in third. The final time on a fast track was 1:50 4/5.
"She's a very classy filly, a nice filly to be around. Her record speaks for itself," said Frankel.
"I was a little surprised at how easy she won," he added. "I got a little nervous when I saw 1-9. When I saw the fractions, I thought Miss Linda was going to run a good race today. Sightseek is just too good for those fillies."
"She did it on her own," said Bailey, who won four consecutive races Sunday, culminating with Sightseek. "I thought that it was cool that she could relax off the pace; I was a little concerned about that. She got to that other filly on her own. She did what she was supposed to do against this field."
It is the fifth Go for Wand victory for Bailey, who also won with Miss Brio (1989), Easy Now (1992), Banshee Breeze (1999) and Dancethruthedawn (2002).
The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred chestnut daughter of Distant View from the dam Viviana (Nureyev) won her seventh race in 11 starts. Rated as one of the three best older filly or mare in the country (along with Azeri and Wild Spirit), she's never finished worse than second.
Is Frankel, who won his 36th graded stakes of the year including 15 grade ones, ready to tackle the reigning Horse of the Year?
"Azeri can come here if she wants," he says. "I'm not going to duck her. The purses are bigger here, so I am going to stay on the East Coast. I may run her back at Belmont. Right now, she is a better filly but the other one (Wild Spirit) is coming fast and she'll run in the Personal Ensign (gr. I, $400,000, 1 1/4 mile at Saratoga, Aug. 22)."
Sightseek was coming off back-to-back wins in the seven-furlong Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs May 3 and the 1 1/16-mile Ogden Phipps (both gr. I) on a sloppy Belmont strip June 21. She earned $150,000 for Sunday's victory, increasing her career bankroll to $869,866.
Sightseek paid $2.30, $2.10 and $2.10. She's Got The Beat returned $2.90 and $2.10. Nonsuch Bay's show was $2.10. The $2 exacta was worth $15.20. The show pool was $936,130, and Sightseek's victory created a minus show pool of $156,543.12.