(Separationofpowers / Coglianese Photo & Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Klaravich Stables’ two-time Grade 1 winner Separationofpowers will look to add a third prestigious race to that list, staying at the same seven-furlong distance in which she won last out as part of an accomplished seven-horse field of fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up in the $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina on Saturday, Travers Day, at Saratoga Race Course.
The 41st running of the Ketel One Ballerina, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint in November at Santa Anita Park, is one of seven stakes and six Grade 1s on a packed card highlighted by the 150th Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers. The day will also feature the $850,000 Sword Dancer; $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti; $600,000 Forego presented by Encore Boston Harbor; and the $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy. Rounding out the blockbuster card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa.
The “Mid-Summer Derby” will be televised live on FOX from 5-6 p.m. Eastern. Undercard coverage will also be televised on a special Travers Day edition of Saratoga Live, airing nationally on FS2 from 11:30-5 p.m. ET. Regional coverage of Saturday’s Saratoga Live can be found on MSG+, FOX Sports Prime Ticket and Altitude.
Seperationofpowers has thrived at Saratoga, winning her debut at the historic track in July 2017 as a juvenile before running third in the Grade 1 Spinaway the same year in September. As a sophomore, the Chad Brown trainee won the Grade 1 Test at the Ballerina distance of seven furlongs before running fourth in the Grade 1 Cotillion in September at Parx.
Off that effort, Separationofpowers was given eight months off after a chip in her ankle required surgery. But following the respite, the Candy Ride filly ran third in the Grade 3 Vagrancy at 6 ½ furlongs on May 11 at Belmont before wiring the field in the Grade 3 Bed o’Roses on June 7 on Big Sandy, earning a personal-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure.
“It gives me a lot of confidence,” Brown said of that effort. “At her age now, she appreciates more time between races.”
Separationofpowers, 4-0-2 in nine career starts, has trained at Belmont since April, including eight works since the Bed o’Roses. Her last two breezes were on the training track including a four-furlong blowout in 49.77 seconds on August 17.
“We really like the way she’s training,” Brown said. “We came from Belmont for this race because she’s a bit of a quirky horse to train and she found her comfort zone training there. So, we just stayed with it.”
Jose Ortiz will have the return call from post 4.
Blue Devil Racing Stable’s Come Dancing has reached triple digit Beyers in three of her last four starts and came close last out, garnering a 97 after running second to Midnight Bisou in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps on June 8, Belmont Stakes Day. Conditioned by Carlos Martin, Come Dancing started her 5-year-old year with back-to-back wins, commencing with a 7 ¾-length drubbing of the field in the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap that earned her a 114 Beyer. She followed with another big score, besting the field by 6 ¾-lengths in the one-mile Grade 2 Ruffian on May 5 at Belmont.
A daughter of Malibu Moon Come Dancing is 6-2-0 in 11 career starts. She will have the services of Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, the winner of the 2011 Ballerina aboard Hilda’s Passion, from post 2.
Mia Mischief will be seeking her second Grade 1 win in her 4-year-old campaign, adding to her win in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on May 4 at Churchill Downs. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Mia Mischief has three wins and a runner-up finish in five starts this year, with her only off-the-board finish coming with a fourth-place effort in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss at six furlongs on July 24 at the Spa.
The daughter of Into Mischief enjoyed success as a sophomore in the Capital Region, running second by a neck to Separationofpowers in the Grade 1 Test and returned to run second to Dream Tree in the Grade 2 Prioress last September. That came after he winning effort in the Grade 2 Eight Belles in May 2018.
“She’s gorgeous physically and has run some excellent races. We’re expecting her to repeat her [Humana] Distaff performance,” Asmussen said. “Her two most impressive wins, the Humana Distaff and the Eight Belles, both came at seven-eighths of a mile. And she has been training beautifully and was second in the Test last year.”
Ricarado Santana, Jr., aboard for her last 15 starts, will have the return engagement from post 5.
Stonestreet Stables’ Dawn the Destroyer will be making her first Grade 1 start after running third in the Bed o’Roses, rallying from last of six to earn graded stakes blacktype for the third time in four starts in adding to the Distaff Handicap and the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie on February 16 at Laurel Park.
“It’s a tough race, but there aren’t that many spots for her. She’s been training good, so we’ll give it a try,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “We think she likes the distance and she deserves a chance in here.”
Dawn the Destroyer will be returning to Saratoga for the first time since 2017, where she beat allowance company and ran third in the Grade 2 Prioress. Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who picked up the mount in the Bed o’Roses, will ride again, breaking from post 7.
Minit to Stardom enters with three straight wins, including a front-running 1 ½ length score in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss. The 4-year-old Star Guitar filly, conditioned by Jose Camejo, is 6-3-0 in 10 career starts and will be running at seven furlongs for just the second time and first since running sixth in last year’s Grade 1 Test, marking her only career off-the-board finish. Alex Cintron, aboard for her winning streak, will ride again, breaking from post 6.
Pacific Gale has produced a slew of game efforts for trainer John Kimmel, posting back-to-back runner-up finishes in graded stakes in the Distaff and Vagrancy Handicap. She will look to bounce back after running last of sixth in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss last out. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will be in the irons from post 3.
Special Relativity, winner of the Shine Again on July 31 at Saratoga for trainer Robertino Diodoro, drew post 1 with jockey David Cohen. The 4-year-old daughter of Cowboy Cal is 4-for-4 lifetime at the Spa, with two wins in 2018 and a pair of victories in July as she seeks her third win of the meet.