Thirteen Fillies and Mares Nominated for the Personal Ensign Stakes(Gr.1)

Saratoga 2016 - Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith bringing Songbird home to win the Alabama Stakes
Saratoga 2016 - Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith bringing Songbird home to win the Alabama Stakes

Barring mishap or mayhem, Songbird is coming back to Saratoga Race Course to run in the Personal Ensign Stakes (Gr.1) on August 26. Contested on the main track over 1 1/8 miles, the depth of the field nominated for this year’s race makes it as interesting, if not more so, than the Travers Stakes. Not only is the $700,000 in purse money up for grabs, the Personal Ensign is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race; the winner gets a fee-free berth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and travelling expenses.

Although Songbird may dominate the headlines, the likes of Terra Promessa, who won the the Shuvee Handicap (gr.3) earlier in the Saratoga meet, Forever Unbridled and Martini Glass will challenge her. The New York Racing Association shared a conversation with Songbird’s owner Rick Porter:

I want to run at Saratoga. It's my favorite track to run at and I think it's the right race for her anyway: the timing is right, the purse is right, and she's run well there.
We're going to hook Forever Unbridled, Carina Mia, and whoever else is coming, so it's not going to be a pushover race. But according to Mr. Hollendorfer, she couldn't be doing any better. She worked in 1:01 and they gave her a 'breezing,' which is pretty hard to get at Del Mar. Jerry said she went around the track like she was just jogging around.
I asked Jerry the other day to compare her to how she was a week or two before the Breeders' Cup and he said, 'I got to tell you, Rick, she is better than she's ever been. These two races have just got her in the position where she couldn't be more fit.’ If it weren't for that whisker, she'd be undefeated, but she's still something special.

The fillies and mares nominated for the 2017 Personal Ensign Stakes (Gr.1) are:

(Entrant, color/gender.age, Owner, Trainer)

BLUE PRIZE (ARG), ch.f.4, Merriebelle Stable, Ignacio Correas, IV

CARINA MIA, dk b/.f.4, Three Chimneys Farm, Chad C. Brown

DISTINTA, ch.m.5, Veb Racing Stable Corp, Todd A. Pletcher

ESKENFORMONEY, dk b/.m.5, StarLadies Racing, Todd A. Pletcher

FAITHFULLY, dk b/.f.4, Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Inc., Bob Baffert

FLORA DORA, ch.f.4, Coffee Pot Stables, Marialice Coffey

FOREVER UNBRIDLED, b.m.5, Charles E. Fipke, Dallas Stewart

GOING FOR BROKE, b.f.4, Waterford Stable, Chad C. Brown

LIGHTSTREAM, b.f.4, Uphill Stable, Brian A. Lynch

MARTINI GLASS, b.f.4, Vince Campanella, Keith Nations

SMILE BIG, dk b/.f.4, Vincent S. Scuderi, Rudy R. Rodriguez

SONGBIRD, dk b/.f.4, Fox Hill Farm, Jerry Hollendorfer

TERRA PROMESSA, b.f.4, Stonestreet Stables, Steven M. Asmussen

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