The Ballston Handicap (Grade 2)- $400.000 Purse
SAR- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Inner Turf
August 25, 2018
Mb Stables is guaranteed that one of his horses will finish in the money in the 15th running of the Grade 2 Ballston Handicap. Only five have shown up for this race, which the trainer was able to win last year with Love In The Mist. It is not particularly unusual for this race to have a smaller field. Looking at our entries, you have to say that things look good for him, but two other trainers are looking to take the trophy home themselves, and they may have the best two horses here. We shall see! Here are the runners!
#1- Feel The Thunder (Mb Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- Has fared well in smaller graded stakes recently, running second in both the Santa Barbara and RGD, each a Grade 3, but could only be in the middle of the field in bigger races, such as the Grade 1 Justagame. Though this is a bigger races, you have to think that she will like running against the smaller field, especially when two are stablemates.
#2- Broken Chai (Mb Stables, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- Winner of six out of 14 races, with four additional second place performances. She has spent of her career sprinting on the grass, and has an ungraded stake win from earlier this year to show for it. Not that experienced, yet, at going over a mile, but if we go back to last year, we see an appealing second place showing in the Grade 1 Matriach. She will be a low weight here.
#3- Peppermint Miss (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by L H Colon)- A filly that seems to be on the verge of getting her signature win, and this may be the spot. So far, she can only boast winning a pair of $30.000 ungraded stakes at TUP, but she has been agonizingly close to victory in much bigger. This has allowed her to be a profitable runner, and with a little more luck, we could be talking about her winning the Grade 2 Buena Vista at SA and/or the Grade 2 Royal Heroine, also at SA. Her eighth place run here in the Grade 1 Diana last month was likely better then the race line makes it look. She’ll spoil the Mb victory party.
#4- Trump Princess (Winning Link Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- Speaking of the Buena Vista and Royal Heroine, Trump Princess was there as well. She was third in the Buena Vista, and like Peppermint Miss, also could have won that race. What she did win, was the Royal Heroine in April. That was followed up with another win, the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile. Actually, four of her last five races are the same as Peppermint Miss’ four of five. They have very similar performances to one another in each, though Peppermint Miss is 3-1 against Trump Princess in that stretch. Though because of those wins, Trump Princess has to be the high weight here, and will carry four more pounds then her familiar rival will. That’s the deciding factor for me in putting Peppermint Miss over her.
#5- Change Perception (Mb Stables, ridden by F Pennington)- Running long on the grass is where the legendary F Pennington always seems to be the best, so based on that Change Perception looks like a top choice. Won three in a row over the winter months, including the ungraded Winter Memories at AQU. She has since tried a couple graded stakes, which is highlighted by a third place showing at the Grade 3 Penny Memorial.