by Anthony Affrunti
Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls will feature a wide-open affair with eight fillies and mares set to contest the 1 3/8 miles over Saratoga Race Course's inner turf.
One of four stakes races on the day highlighted by the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward presented by NYRA Bets, the 23rd running of the Glens Falls will be joined by the Grade 1, $350,000 Spinaway for juvenile fillies and the Grade 3, $300,000 Saranac for 3-year-olds.
Televised coverage of Woodward Day will be nationally broadcast on NBCSN from 5:30-7p.m. Additionally, Saratoga Live will air nationally on FS2 from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. and regionally on MSG+, FOX Sports Prime Ticket and FOX Sports San Diego and Altitude.
The 23rd running of the Glens Falls will see Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey saddle Allen Stable's filly Danceland, with the hope that she will remain perfect through two starts at the Spa and capture her first graded stakes victory. The 4-year-old Tapit filly closed strong last out, posting a half-length win against optional claimers earlier in the meet on August 2.
She will now make her fourth start of the year after beginning the year by beating only three in an 11-horse field at Keeneland in an allowance level start. She then returned against conditional claimers to win by a nose on June 16 at Belmont Park.
"She's doing really well," McGaughey said. "Obviously her two races are good this year. This is a big step up for her, I like the distance, I think she'll settle in behind horses and go from there. Right now, I'm looking forward to running her. She needed time off then, so we gave her time off, then she had a horrid trip at Keeneland. We brought her back, and she ran really well at Belmont. So far, so good."
Danceland will be joined by Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez from post 4.
Among the three starters trainer Chad Brown will send to the post is Klaravich Stables' Homeland Security, the one-length winner of the 1 1/2 mile, $100,000 River Memories on July 8 at Belmont Park. The 4-year-old by Smart Strike is a Kentucky bred who has displayed a strong closing kick and thrives as the distance increases. She will look to add her first graded stakes victory in breaking from post 6.
Mrs. John Magnier's multiple graded stakes winner Santa Monica will make her fourth start in the United States after 21 career starts in Ireland. The 5-year-old English-bred Mastercraftsman mare ended her European tour in the 32red E.B.F Stallion River Eden Stakes at Lingfield in England with a ninth-place finish.
She is the only to boast more than one graded or group stakes win in the Glens Falls field, capturing last year's Group 3 Munster Oaks by a neck in June 2017 at Cork. In her last race, she earned a graded stakes win with a front-running half-length score in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly on June 30 at Woodbine.
Santa Monica began the current campaign at Keeneland while debuting for Brown's barn and drew away to a four-length victory against allowance foes at 1 1/2 miles over a turf course labeled good. She then shipped north and missed to settle for a close third behind Holy Helena and Lottie in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Stakes on May 5 at Belmont Park before the mare trekked to Canada for her last start. She drew post 5 with meet-leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.
Martin S. Schwartz's Onthemoonagain is entry from Brown's contingent with overseas experience, finishing third in her U.S. debut after a rough start where she was impeded late against conditional claimers on August 2 at Saratoga. The French-bred 4-year-old filly by Cape Cross owns eight starts in France, with five of those in against graded stakes company.
"They're coming into the Glens Falls the right way," Brown said. "Both horses have been training particularly well."
Onthemoonagain will run from post 3 and be ridden by Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano.
Lady Montdore will carry Godolphin Racing's blue around the inner turf while making her second start in the country following five starts in France for trainer Andre Fabre. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Medaglia d' Oro won her first race in the U.S. on August 6 at Saratoga, registering a 4 ½-length victory, stalking the leaders from off the pace.
Lady Montdore will start from post 8 and be ridden by Manuel Franco.
Blackstone River Stable's La Manta Gris, a Lemon Drop Kid filly, will run from post 7 with Ricardo Santana, Jr. in the irons.
Savannah Belle will make her 18th career start for trainer Brian Lynch and returns after finishing fourth in the 1 1/4 mile Waya Stakes on August 12. The 4-year-old filly by Discreetly Mine drew post 2 and gets Luis Saez in the saddle.
Graded stakes-winner Summersault, third in the River Memories and seventh in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay, owns the most experience in the fray with 33 starts heading into the Glens Falls. The 6-year-old mare by Rock Hard Ten drew the rail and Jose Lezcano.
Land Mine is entered to run on the main track only.