A Ballerina Stakes victory might just be in Come Dancing's DNA

NYRA Press Office
August 22, 2019 05:05pm
A Ballerina Stakes victory might just be in Come Dancing's DNA
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Blue Devil Racing Stable's Come Dancing will look to continue her impressive 5-year-old campaign when she breaks from post 2 as the 6-5 favorite in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina carded as Race 6 on Saturday at Saratoga.

The Malibu Moon mare ended her 4-year-old season with a hard-running second by a neck to Marley's Freedom in the Go For Wand (G3) in December at Aqueduct Racetrack and started the new year with a 7 ¾-length score in the Distaff Handicap (G3) at the Ballerina distance of seven furlongs on April 5 at the Big A.

That romp earned her a personal-best 114 Beyer Speed Figure, building on the 102 garnered in the Go For Wand. The triple-digit success continued with a 6 ¾-length win in the one-mile Ruffian (G2) on May 5 at Belmont Park before the 
Carlos Martin trainee ran second in the Ogden Phipps (G1) to top older filly Midnight Bisou.

"I'm excited about cutting her back to seven-eighths," Martin said. "She was dominant in the Distaff and had a great race in the Ruffian. In the [Ogden Phipps], she came up stumbling a little bit and was forced to go to the lead. We always want to go to the lead, but once you stumble, you have to rush up with [three-quarters of a mile] in 1:09 and change.

"It took a little starch out of her. But we regrouped, and in the last month, she's trained sensational with Javier [Castellano]. So, I'm really excited about running her on Saturday."

Come Dancing has been training at Saratoga since July, breezing five times on the historic venue's main track, including a three-furlong blowout in 35.60 seconds on August 17.

Castellano has one Ballerina win to his credit, piloting Hilda's Passion in 2011. The race is a "Win and You're In" qualifier to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint in November at Santa Anita Park.

Come Dancing has improved since turning 4, going 4-2-0 in nine starts, including all three of her stakes victories. With lineage that goes back to Malibu Moon sire A.P. Indy and her granddam being Tiznow, Martin said Come Dancing has the breeding to have success as she's aged.

"I think her pedigree has a lot to do with it. I really believe in the genetics," Martin said. "She has a lot of A.P. Indy in her and is out of a Tiznow mare. Those horses really seem like they mature. The pedigree really stands out if you can keep those horses sound."  
 

The Ballerina features 9-5 Separationofpowers, 5-1 Mia Mischief and 8-1 Minit to Stardom, who is coming off a gate-to-wire win in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss on July 24 at Saratoga and who Martin expects to serve as the early speed.

2019 Ballerina (G1)

 

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