Saratoga Derby (G1) — Race 9 (5:10 p.m. ET)
Bolshoi Ballet will look to make a second successful invasion of America when he lines up for the $1 million Saratoga Derby (G1) on Saturday.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien for the Ballydoyle connections, Bolshoi Ballet shook off a disappointing loss as the favorite in the classic Epsom Derby (G1) in last month’s Belmont Derby. Favored at even-money, the son of the recently-deceased Galileo has to wait for room in deep stretch, but came through late to win the 10-furlong test by 1 1/4 lengths under Ryan Moore, who will again be in to ride in the 1 3/16-mile Saratoga equivalent.
“He’s doing well and came back here in good order,” said T.J. Comerford, O’Brien’s traveling assistant. “Aidan and the team are very happy with him at the moment. If he runs to his last race, he should be right there again.”
There is a larger European contingent joining Bolshoi Ballet this time. Group 2 winner Cadillac, fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last fall in his first try on these shores, appears back after a season-opening win in the International (G3) at the Curragh on June 26. Meanwhile, the hot Godolphin stable and trainer Charlie Appleby rely on Secret Protector, most recently third in the Hampton Court (G3) at Royal Ascot.
Soldier Rising, a Frankel gelding, ships in from France where he was previously trained by Andre Fabre, and Group 2-placed State of Rest exits a third in the Celebration S. at the Curragh for Joseph O’Brien, the son of Aidan.
The American-based force includes American Turf (G2) winner Du Jour, who flattened out in the stretch of the Belmont Derby and finished fourth in his debut for trainer Bill Mott. Ahead of that one, in third, was Cellist, who took a brief lead in the stretch before he was run down by Bolshoi Ballet and Italian Derby (G2) winner Tokyo Gold.
Yes This Time enters on a five-race win streak for Kelly Breen, which includes a one-length triumph in the Kent (G3) at Delaware Park on soft ground. Grade 3 winner King Fury tries the turf after a recent runner-up finish in the Ohio Derby (G3).
“We’re really using this race as a prep for the Travers (G1)…I think he’ll handle the grass just fine,” trainer Kenny McPeek said of King Fury.
Glens Falls S. (G2) — Race 7 (3:58 p.m. ET)
The $250,000 Glens Falls S. (G2), a 1 1/2-mile jaunt on the inner turf for fillies and mares, marks the return to action of War Like Goddess, who captured the Orchid (G3) and Bewitch in back-to-back starts last spring for Bill Mott.
Trainer Chad Brown starts two. My Sister Nat captured the Waya (G3) and finished second in the Glens Falls over this course last summer, but has earned only minor awards in a pair of starts this term. Orglandes, who captured the Red Carpet H. (G3) at Del Mar last fall, trailed a field of six in the Sheepshead Bay (G2) in her lone start so far this year.
“Her first start of the year didn’t go quite the way we planned so we regrouped with her and here we are. We look to get her back on track,” Brown said of Orglandes. “For whatever reason she just didn’t show up. She came out of the race a little sore so I just kind of backed off. I have her back nice now, (she’s) moving very well and looks healthy so we’ll try again.”
Call Me Love enters off a neck victory in the River Memories S. at Belmont, while Dalika, Luck Money, and Temple City Terror occupied the top three slots in the Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) at Delaware Park last out.