Speedy Group of Ladies Line Up in Ballerina at Saratoga


A field of seven line up in Saturday’s $300,000 Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga. (Photo credit:: © Cheryl Quigley – Dreamstime.com).

Saturday’s $300,000 Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga drew a speedy group of fillies and mares that will battle at seven furlongs on the main track.

The Ballerina is one of three Grade 1 races on the card. The $300,000 Test (G1) drew a field of six three-year-old fillies going seven furlongs and the $1 million Travers (G1) drew a field of seven three-year-olds.

The Ballerina is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Keeneland in November.

The Ballerina is top heavy with early speed including Serengeti Empress (5-2), Cookie Dough (12-1), Letruska (5-1) and Victim of Love (15-1) which likely will lead to a hotly contested pace.

The Tom Amoss trained Serengeti Empress, the 2019 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner drew the rail and looks to improve off a fourth-place finish in the Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs going nine furlongs last out.

“It was a strong effort that day in a race where she kind of just got run into the ground. I didn’t think we did a very good job of kind of rating her speed,” trainer Tom Amoss said of the Fleur de Lis effort. “Having said that, she’s recovered well and she’s training well.”

Fleur de Lis Replay

Come Dancing (3-1) is the defending champion and is coming off a runner up finish in the Vagrancy Handicap (G3) in her last outing at Belmont Park over a wet track.

If a fast pace does develop that could set things up for the Shug McGaughey trained Pink Sands, who cuts back to seven furlongs after a well beaten fifth in the Ogden Phipps (G1) last out going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park.

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


Saratoga Race 7 The Ballerina G1 Post time 3:42 ET

6 Pink Sands   10-1

1 Serengeti Empress   5-2

5 Letruska   5-1

4 Bellafina   9-5

Pink Sands

The McGaughey trainee failed to fire in the Ogden Phipps (G1) last out going 1 1/16 miles and cuts back to seven furlongs. The mare won the Inside Information (G2) two back at Gulfstream Park at seven furlongs with a career top speed fig. She won the Rampart (G3) three back at a one turn mile, both of those wins coming with last to first rallies. She is going to have to do that again as she figures to be last early and will need to run past six pretty talented runners in a race that has plenty of early zip signed up. Her win here at the Spa was her maiden breaker back in ’18 at 6 ½ furlongs. She has worked well since her last outing and her last was coming back off nearly a five-month break. The mare should bounce back with a better effort and she will need things to set up well for her, but worth the risk if we catch most of her 10-1 morning line.

Serengeti Empress

This filly has won just once in her eight starts since winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1) last May. She was beaten double digit lengths in her last two starts. She did not get to the lead in the Apple Blossom (G1) and faded to finish a well beaten 12th as the beaten favorite. Last out she did set the early fractions and ran out of gas and tired to finish a well beaten fourth in the Fleur De Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs. Her lone recent win came going two turns in the slop in the Azeri (G2) against a soft group. She does cut back to seven furlongs which will suit, and she has works sharply since her last outing. She draws the rail which may force the hand of Saez, but he was likely going to send her anyway. She ran really well here last year in a game runner up finish to Covfefe in the Test (G1) at seven furlongs. The Amoss barn is 25% winners moving runners from route to sprint. Looking for her to bounce back and give a much better account of herself here.


Shipping up from Florida this filly was a sharp gate to wire winner of the Added Elegance going a one turn mile at Gulfstream Park last out. The runner up Nonna Madeline came back to win the restricted Summer Colony here at the Spa on Aug. 5. She has now won 9 of her 11 career starts including a pair of G1 races in Mexico. The filly set sharp early fractions last out and she looks capable of handling the cut back to seven furlongs and to be in the mix early. Santana is back on board and he was on her three back when she wired optional claimers at Oaklawn Park going two turns.

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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