Beautiful Memories has none to speak of with regards to the July 16 Schuylerville (G3), when she stumbled at the start and eventually pulled up after losing contact with the field in the stretch.
The beaten odds-on favorite that day, the juvenile daughter of Hard Spun looks to turn things around in Sunday’s $250,000 Spinaway Stakes (G1) at Saratoga over 7 furlongs.
An odds-on, 10-length victor of her debut at Churchill Downs in May for trainer Mark Casse, Beautiful Memories is a half-sister to Group 2 winner Kimbear and is from the family of owner-breeder John Oxley’s champion Beautiful Pleasure and Grade 1 turfer Dream Dancing.
A pair of maidens might fare well here. Vequist just missed in her debut at Parx for trainer Butch Reid while finishing ahead of a next-out winner. The Wesley Ward-trained Guana Cay has placed in both starts, including a second-place run against the promising colt Mutasaabeq.
Esplanade invades from Ohio where she compiled a 3-for-3 record in state-bred company, including a pair of stakes against males. Also rising from the restricted ranks is Irish Constitution, who graduated by a nose against New York-bred foes first out. Lady Lilly, a daughter of Nyquist, lasted by a neck to win first out against open maidens for Steve Asmussen.
Lady’s Island could prove the speed of the speed in the $150,000 Honorable Miss H. (G2) for fillies and mares, with Blamed the most likely to keep that rival company in the 6-furlong dash.
A winner in 16 of 31 starts, Lady’s Island was upset in her most recent outing at Gulfstream, but it was a below-par effort. Blamed, meanwhile, exits a close second in the restricted Shine Again S. and shortens up to six panels for the first time since her juvenile campaign.
Come Dancing owns the back class of the field, but has been underwhelming in four consecutive starts beginning with last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). She was fourth, beaten three lengths, in her title defense of the Ballerina (G1) last out.
“She’s doing well and she’s thriving with the cooler temperatures here in Saratoga the last week,” trainer Carlos Martin said. “I can see she’s turning the corner. I didn’t think it was that bad of an effort last time.”
Pink Sands is a multiple graded stakes winner, but hasn’t replicated her best Gulfstream form elsewhere. Unholy Alliance, Bye Bye J, and Pacific Gale are all capable of earning a share, or better, on their best form in a race that lacks a standout.