Country House sibling leads Mott's Saratoga stakes starters

NYRA Press Office
July 11, 2019 10:33am
Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott, who makes Saratoga Springs his local residence for the majority of the year, is gearing up to kick off another Saratoga meet with a formidable contender, Mitchell Road, in the first Grade 1 event of the meet, the $500,000 Diana for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward.

The 4-year-old English Channel bay is unbeaten in three starts this year, including a victory in the Gallorette (G3) at Pimlico Race Course in her most recent start, where she recorded a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure.

"She really stepped forward last time," said Mott. "It was a very good effort."

After breaking her maiden in her second start in February 2018 at Gulfstream Park, Mitchell Road finished second by a half-length in an optional-claiming tilt and has remained unbeaten since, wheeling off four consecutive victories including stakes wins in the Gallorette and Albert M. Stall Memorial at Fair Grounds in her last two starts. 

Mitchell Road, out of the War Chant mare Quake Lake, is a half-sister to Kentucky Derby winner Country House. To win the Diana, she will have to topple a field loaded with graded stakes winners, including the Chad Brown-trained Rushing Fall, Homerique, and Sistercharlie while competing at the 1 1/8-mile distance for the first time.

Mott said Mitchell Road will need to continue improving to secure the win. 

"It's a very competitive field," said Mott. "She'll need to step up again, but she's been working well and we'll take our shot."

Mott also said last year's Woodward (G1) winner Yoshida is continuing to do well and is targeting the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney on Saturday, August 3, while 3-year-old Tacitus, who last out finished second in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets would breeze this weekend eyeing a start in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy presented by NYRA Bets on Saturday, July 27. 

"He [Tacitus] is doing well," said Mott. "Weather-permitting we'll breeze him again on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. I don't see a big difference in change in him from the Belmont. He was doing good then and has continued to come along, so we'll take things day by day."

2019 Jim Dandy (G2)


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