Scott Serio / Eclipse Sportswire
A week from Saturday at Saratoga is Travers Stakes (G1) day featuring six graded stakes with five Grade 1s. Additionally, the following day's feature is a Grade 1 "win and you're in" for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
It figures to be an action-packed weekend of action in upstate New York. To help get primed, check out the latest projected fields for all six Grade 1s courtesy of the New York Racing Association.
Saturday, Aug. 27
$1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1), 1 1/4 miles, 3-year-olds
In the view of many, Epicenter has risen to the top of the division after knocking off Preakness winner Early Voting and Zandon among others in last month's Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga. He would solidify the position with a win here.
Rich Strike, the long shot Kentucky Derby winner, will make his first start since finishing sixth in the Belmont Stakes.
Cyberknife has won four of his last five starts, including last month's Haskell (G1), with his only defeat coming in the Kentucky Derby.
$750,000 Sword Dancer (G1), 1 1/2 miles, 4-year-olds and up
Gufo won this race last year and will try and defend his title for trainer Christophe Clement. Since winning Gulfstream's Pan American (G2) in April, he was second in the Man O' War (G1), third in the Manhattan (G1) and fifth in the United Nations (G1) most recently.
Adhamo had a breakthrough win in the United Nations for trainer Chad Brown after hitting the board in two prior Grade 1 tries. Channel Maker, the champion turf horse of 2020, got back on the beam when winning last month's Grand Couturier at Saratoga.
$600,000 Personal Ensign (G1), 1 1/8 miles, 4-year-olds and up fillies & mares
Multiple Grade 1 winners Clairiere and Malathaat will renew their rivalry after most recently finishing one-two in last month's Shuvee (G2) at Saratoga.
Another familiar foe is Letruska, who finished behind both Clairiere and Malathaat in the Ogden Phipps (G1) and skipped the Shuvee. Search Results was third in the Ogden Phipps and came back to win the July 23 Molly Pritcher (G3) at Monmouth Park.
$600,000 Forego (G1), 7 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up
Jackie's Warrior, who is 4-for-4 this year, will look to continue his blitz through the sprint division and add a fourth career Saratoga Grade 1 win to the resume.
Speaker's Corner, winner of the Carter Handicap (G1) in the spring, will have to face another heavyweight in Jackie's Warrior after finishing second to undefeated Flightline in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) and then multiple Grade 1 winner Life Is Good in last month's John A. Nerud (G2) at Belmont Park.
$500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1), 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds
Multiple Grade 1 winner Jack Christopher returns to sprinting after checking in third in the 1 1/8-mile Haskell, which was his first loss in five starts. Previously this year he won the Woody Stephens (G1) at Belmont Park and Pat Day Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Gunite, who won last year's Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga, added another local win in the Amsterdam (G2) going 6 1/2 furlongs on July 31.
$500,000 Ballerina Handicap (G1), 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up fillies and mares
Reigning champion female sprinter Ce Ce is slated to make another cross-country trip from Southern California after doing similar when winning the July 2 Princess Rooney (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
Last year, Ce Ce contested the Ballerina and was third to winner Gamine.
Bella Sofia disappointed as the odds-on favorite in the Honorable Miss (G2) at Saratoga on July 27. In her only other two starts this year she won the Vagrancy (G3) and Bed o' Roses (G2), both at Belmont Park.