Juvenile Fillies Seek Breeders’ Cup Berth in Spinaway at Spa

A field of seven fillies line up in the Spinaway at Saratoga. (photo credit: © Wingbeats551 | Dreamstime.com)

A field of seven fillies line up in the Spinaway at Saratoga. (photo credit: © Wingbeats551 | Dreamstime.com)

A field of seven two-year-old fillies will head to the starting gate on Saturday in the 125th running of the $350,000 Spinaway (G1), with the winner stamping her ticket to the Breeders’ Cup.

The Spinaway is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 4. The winner earns a fees paid trip to Southern California for the year-end championship race.

Trainer Todd Pletcher seeks a record sixth win in the Spinaway and sends out a pair of runners among the seven entered—Cherry Lodge and Sweet Loretta, the two likely betting favorites.

Cherry Lodge is the 2-1 morning line favorite off an impressive maiden score in her debut over the Spa main track on Aug. 7, earning a race best 89 Beyer Speed Figure.

Her stablemate is Sweet Loretta (5-2) who draws the rail and makes her first start since winning the Schuylerville (G3) on the opening day of the meeting.

Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez rode both of the fillies in their maiden wins and sticks with Cherry Lodge, while Javier Castellano gets the call on Sweet Loretta.

Pletcher won the Spinaway last year Rachel’s Valentina, giving him his fifth win in the race, tying his former boss D. Wayne Lukas for the most wins in the history of the race.

If Pletcher is going to get beat it may be by the Mark Casse trained Pretty City Dancer, the only other stakes winner in the field. The filly overcame a tardy start to win the Debutante at Churchill Downs on July 2. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call on the filly and is 7-2 on the morning line.

Completing the field are Special Risk (20-1), Runway Doll (3-1), Fun (12-1) and You Know Too (15-1).

The Spinaway will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network along with the $600,000 Woodward (G1). The live telecast of the “Summer at Saratoga, Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and Your In – Presented by Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing” gets underway at 5:00 ET.

Let’s head out to the Spa for Saturday’s featured race of the day:


Saratoga Race 9 The Spinaway G1 (Post time 5:11 ET)   

#5 Cherry Lodge   2-1

#6 Pretty City Dancer   7-2          

#1 Sweet Loretta   5-2

#3 Runway Doll   3-1

Analysis: Cherry Lodge is one of two in here sent out by the Pletcher barn that has won this race five times, including last year with Rachel’s Valentina. Our top pick was a $450,000 Keeneland purchase who broke her maiden in a sharp looking outing in her debut here on Aug. 7 in gate to wire fashion as the betting favorite. Johnny V. rode both of the barn’s runners and sticks with his gal, who is a half to six winners including three stakes winners, top earner Stormello ($700,100). Pletcher hits at a 28% clip overall with juveniles and this gal looks capable of moving forward off her debut effort.

Pretty City Dancer invades from Kentucky for the Casse barn. The filly hopped at the break last out and overcame the poor start to win the Debutante in her first start against winners. Three have come out of that race to run back including Grandma’s Princess, who won the Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes and Country Candy, who ran second in the Prairie Gold lassie and then won the Evangeline Princess in her most recent outing.  The $825,000 Keeneland purchase is by Tapit out of a Carson City mare that has dropped four other winners, top earner Lear’s Princess ($491,870). The extra ground should suit this filly.

Sweet Loretta was off a beat slow and made a good late rally to win the Schuylerville (G2) here on optioning day. The $750,000 purchase is by Tapit out of a stakes placed Bluegrass Cat mare. She will need a cleaner break to beat her stablemate here. Not too crazy about the rail draw.


WIN: #5 to win at 9-5 or better.

EX: 5,6 / 1,3,5,6

TRI: 5,6 / 1,3,5,6 / 1,3,5,6,7


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