Back on Nov. 1, 2008, if you would have told people there would be one superstar horse to come out of Churchill Downs’ Pocahontas Stakes (gr. III), most would have said it would be Sara Louise, who romped by 3 3/4 lengths that day. The runner-up in that one-mile race was none other than Rachel Alexandra.
Rachel Alexandra turned the tables on Sara Louise less than a month later in the Golden Rod (gr. II), and has not lost since. Meanwhile, that was the last time we have seen Sara Louise, until now. The 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon was purchased privately by Goldolphin after the Golden Rod and sent to Dubai. She has finally resurfaced in the $100,000 Victory Ride (gr. III) Aug. 29 at Saratoga.
The Victory Ride, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies, is the first of five graded stakes on the Spa program. It will go to post at 2:55 p.m. EDT. A field of nine was entered.
Sara Louise, previously owned by Eldon Farm and trained by Dale Romans, raced four times as a juvenile (winning twice), including a fourth-place finish in her racing debut at Saratoga. She was not asked to do much for new trainer Saeed bin Suroor until recently.
“Saeed wasn’t happy with her because she was a little light,” said Rick Mettee, Godolphin’s North American racing manager. “We kept her in very light training over there. She seems to be coming around at the right time. She put in a nice work the other day (five furlongs, :59.98 on Aug. 21). (Jockey Richie Migliore) worked her and he complimented her.
“She did beat Rachel Alexandra at one turn, but Rachel Alexandra was in a bit of trouble in that race. I wasn’t surprised to see Rachel Alexandra turn the tables at two turns. Still, Sara Louise was a good 2-year-old. It’s a question of how far she can run.”
Sara Louise, who was bred in Kentucky by Paul Gardner and is out of the Mt. Livermore mare Kings Lynn, drew post 9 and will be ridden by Edgar Prado. She is the 2-1 morning-line favorite.
The second choice in the Victory Ride is George and Lori Hall’s coupled entry of All of Her Twist and Bold Union, both trained by Kelly Breen.
All of Her Twist, by Forest Wildcat, ran sixth in the Test (gr. I) earlier this month at Saratoga. Prior to that, she won a pair of sprints 15 days apart at Monmouth Park in July. Bold Union, who breaks from post 2, should be among the pacesetters. The Dixie Union filly romped in wire-to-wire fashion in the Femme Fatale Stakes July 31 at Penn National while setting the six-furlong track record in 1:08.65.
Selva, also by Forest Wildcat, has won four of seven starts in her career and also could be part of the early speed. Alan Garcia will ride for David Carroll.
$100,000 Victory Ride (gr. III, Race 7, 2:55 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 6 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Trix in the City (KY), R A Dominguez, 116, L Rice
2. Bold Union (KY), J R Velazquez, 120, K J Breen
3. Reforestation (KY), E Coa, 116, W H Turner, Jr.
4. Sky Haven (PA), S Bridgmohan, 120, S M Asmussen
5. All of Her Twist (KY), K J Desormeaux, 120, K J Breen
6. Juliet's Spirit (FL), R Albarado, 120, S M Asmussen
7. Step Out Smartly (KY), J Castellano, 120, G R Arnold, II
8. Selva (KY), A Garcia, 120, D M Carroll
9. Sara Louise (KY), E S Prado, 120, S bin Suroor