Dance to Bristol earned her seventh straight victory on Friday and first in a
Grade 1, holding off a late charge from favored Book Review to win the
35th running of the $500,000 Ballerina by a hard-fought head at Saratoga Race Course.
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire/Bob Mayberger
the win, Dance to Bristol earned $300,000 and an all-fees-paid entry
into the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita Park in
November as part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In"
regular rider Xavier Perez in the irons, Dance to Bristol left the gate
in good order and settled in fourth behind Classic Point, who led the
field of 10 through an opening quarter-mile in 23.03 seconds. Taken to
the outside as the half went in 45.89, Dance to Bristol maneuvered into
striking position turning for home just as Book Review was hitting her
best stride. As Book Review gained ground through the stretch, Dance to
Bristol struck the lead with a furlong to go and refused to give in
despite the best efforts of the runner-up.
Her winning time was 1:23.11 for seven furlongs.
something else; she's amazing," said Perez, who has been aboard
throughout Dance to Bristol's winning streak. "She's the best horse I
ever rode in my whole career. I think it's going to be the one that's
going to take me to the Breeders' Cup."
4-year-old daughter of Speightstown and a granddaughter of 1982
Ballerina winner Expressive Dance, Dance to Bristol began her streak in
February, taking a pair of optional claimers at Laurel Park. She next
annexed the Sugar Maple at Charles Town by nine lengths, won the Skipat
at Pimlico Race Course and notched her first graded stakes with a 4
¾-length triumph in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap in June at Belmont
her first start at Saratoga on July 29, Dance to Bristol was the
odds-on favorite as she posted a neck triumph in the Grade 2 Honorable
Miss Handicap, but was sent off the second choice at 8-5 for the
10-7-0 from 18 career starts, Dance to Bristol returned $5.50 for a $2
win bet to her backers in the crowd of 22,215. The winner's purse
boosted her lifetime earnings to $920,880.
filly, she's done everything right, nothing wrong," said Ollie Figgins,
III, who trains Dance to Bristol in Maryland for Susan H. Wantz. "She's
a good horse, and I hope the world knows that."
said he was not sure if Dance to Bristol, who is 7-1-0 from eight
starts this year, would run again prior to the Breeders' Cup.
Bob Baffert-trained Book Review, a Grade 1 winner who entered the
Ballerina off a victory in the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap at Betfair
Hollywood Park, was 1 ½ lengths in front of Villanesca.
put my horse into position and followed the winner the whole race,"
said jockey Rafael Bejarano, aboard the runner-up. "I had an opportunity
to pass her in the stretch, but the other horse never quit."
Villanesca under the wire were Street Girl, Classic Point, Starship
Truffles, Fantasy of Flight, Sure Route, Moment in Dixie, and Glorious
Judy the Beauty flipped over at the starting gate and was a late scratch.
than losing a tooth, she's fine," said trainer Wesley Ward, adding that
Judy the Beauty could make her next start in the Grade 2 Presque Isle
Masters on September 9 at Presque Isle Downs.