Madam Dancealot will be making her first start against older horses in the Buena Vista

Madam Dancealot will be making her first start against older horses in the Buena Vista

Keeneland/Coady Photography

Madam Dancealot Heads Tough Buena Vista Field

Sir Prancelot filly takes on older foes for first time in 4-year-old debut.

In her first start against older fillies and mares, Madam Dancealot will make her 4-year-old season debut in Santa Anita Park's  $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes (G2T) Feb. 17 against a competitive field of turf milers.

Trained by Richard Baltas for Slam Dunk Racing, Madam Dancealot closed out 2017 in the Dec. 30 American Oaks (G1T) where she rallied late and just missed by a half-length to Daddys Lil Darling. She also finished third in both the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup presented by Lane's End (G1T) at Keeneland and the Del Mar Oaks Presented by The Jockey Club (G1T) in her previous two starts.

A group 3 winner in Europe prior to her start in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T), where she finished off the board, the daughter of Sir Prancealot has not finished worse than third since a 10th-place finish in the China Doll Stakes in March of 2017. 

In her only graded stakes victory, she took the San Clemente Handicap (G2T) at the Buena Vista distance of one mile against 3-year-olds.

The competition includes the top three finishers of the Jan. 15 Megahertz Stakes (G3T), also going one mile at Santa Anita. Madame Stripes finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Insta Irma in that contest, her first graded stakes win. Thundering Sky finished another three-quarters of a length back in third.

Trained by Neil Drysdale, Madame Stripes has finished in the money seven out of eight times on the Santa Anita turf and the 6-year-old mare was third in both the Sept. 2 John C. Mabee Stakes (G2T) at Del Mar and the Dec. 3 Bayakoa Stakes (G2) at Los Alamitos Race Course.

While Insta Erma has only one black-type victory to her name, the 5-year-old Pioneerof the Nile  mare's form is on an upswing. 

Originally trained by Bill Mott, she was purchased privately over the summer and is now trained by Baltas for Medallion Racing, Premier Racing Club, Jerry McClanahan, and Christopher Johnson.

Since moving west, her graded stakes debut came in the John C. Mabee, where she finished fourth, a length behind Madame Stripes. She then won the Swingtime Stakes, at the same course and distance as the Buena Vista, by a nose over the same rival.

In her next start at Del Mar she finished 1 1/2 lengths behind the winner for third in the Matriarch Stakes (G1T), also at a mile on the turf.

Drysdale also brings in Team Valor's Juno. Undefeated in five starts in her native Brazil, the 6-year-old mare has not scored since she began racing in the United States in 2016. She has not raced since the Oct. 28 Athenia Stakes (G3T) at Belmont Park, where she was well beaten.

Others in the field include 2017 Santa Ana Stakes (G2T) third-place finisher Sweet Charity, 2016 American Oaks runner-up Sassy Little Lila, 2017 Pucker Up Stakes (G3T) winner Fault, and 2016 Sweetest Chant Stakes (G3T) winner Pricedtoperfection.

Entries: Buena Vista S. (G2T)

Santa Anita Park, Saturday, February 17, 2018, Race 7

  • Grade IIT
  • 1m
  • Turf
  • $200,000
  • 4 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 3:10 PM (local)
11Insta Erma (KY)Brice Blanc120Richard Baltas7/2
22Madam Dancealot (IRE)Corey S. Nakatani122Richard Baltas7/2
33Sweet Charity (FR)Rafael Bejarano120John W. Sadler10/1
44Madame Stripes (ARG)Kent J. Desormeaux122Neil D. Drysdale3/1
55Thundering Sky (KY)Rajiv Maragh120George Weaver8/1
66Sassy Little Lila (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat120Richard E. Mandella4/1
77Fault (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateGeovanni Franco122Philip D'Amato15/1
88Pricedtoperfection (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMike E. Smith120James M. Cassidy15/1
99Juno (BRZ)Joseph Talamo120Neil D. Drysdale12/1