by Brian Bohl
Two-time graded stakes-winner Golden Award will look to notch the first win of her 5-year-old campaign when she competes in Wednesday's $85,000 Summer Colony for older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga Race Course.
Owned by Summer Wind Equine, Golden Award will return to the track where she registered her first graded stakes win in July 2019 when she posted a 2 ¼-length victory in the Grade 3 Shuvee, contested at the Summer Colony distance.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott saw the Medaglia d'Oro mare cap her 2019 campaign with a win in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm in November at Aqueduct Racetrack and start 2020 with a strong second in the Grade 3 Royal Delta over a sloppy and sealed Gulfstream Park track going 1 1/16 miles.
Following a four-month break, Golden Award competed in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps, where she was eased on June 13 at Belmont Park. Mott said Golden Award has trained forwardly since, with a pair of four-furlong works over the Belmont training track earlier this month before a final breeze over Saratoga's Oklahoma training track on Sunday, where was clocked in 1:00.50 for five furlongs.
"She's a good-looking filly, well-bred. When she gets in with the right group, she's tough," Mott said. "She didn't do well with them last time but hopefully this will suit her a little better."
Golden Award has posted a 5-4-0 record in 13 starts with earnings of $415,800. In addition to her two graded stakes triumphs, she has finished as the runner-up at that caliber twice, including by a nose to Mylady Curlin in the 2019 Grade 3 DuPont Distaff at Pimlico.
"She seems fine and she's worked good," Mott said. "I'm very happy with her."
Junior Alvarado, aboard for the Turnback the Alarm win, will have the return call from post 1.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle three of the field's five entrants in Bellera, Nonna Madeline and Always Shopping.
Mathis Stable and Madaket Stables' Bellera also has won a graded stakes in her career and will look to go 2-for-2 at the Spa after besting optional claimers by five lengths last August at 1 1/8 miles over a sloppy and sealed track. She capped her sophomore season with a win in the Grade 3 Comely in November at the Big A and started 2020 with another win on an off track in the Ladies Handicap in January at Aqueduct.
Last out, she set the pace in a six-horse field in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap before running third behind Saracosa and the winner Dunbar Road on July 11 at Delaware Park. That effort netted a 90 Beyer Speed Figure, tying a career high.
"She ran well and she's been pretty consistent around two turns on the dirt, so we're looking forward to getting her back there at a mile and an eighth," Pletcher said.
Hall of Famer John Velazquez will be in the irons from post 2.
Nonna Madeline, who has finished second to Letruska in each of her last two starts, including last time in the Added Elegance on June 27 at Gulfstream.
The 4-year-old daughter of Candy Ride made two starts at Saratoga as a juvenile, running second in the 2018 Grade 3 Schuylerville and fifth in the Grade 1 Spinaway later that meet.
After running second at 1 1/16 miles on April 16 at Oaklawn Park, Pletcher said he was confident two turns could prove beneficial for her.
"We thought Nonna Madeline ran well at Oaklawn going two turns, so it seems like a good spot for her [and] all three of them," Pletcher said.
Irad Ortiz, Jr. picks up the mount from post 4.
Repole Stable's Always Shopping was fifth in the Grade 2 Ruffian on July 11 at Belmont at a one-turn mile, returning to the main track after running fourth in her turf debut in the Treasure Coast on June 7 at Gulfstream Park.
As a sophomore, Always Shopping won the Busanda and Grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct, which marked the last time the now 4-year-old has won, finishing on the board just once in her subsequent four starts.
"Her last race didn't really unfold the way we needed it to for her," Pletcher said. "She's better around two turns."
Jose Ortiz will pilot Always Shopping for the first time, breaking from post 3.
Lawrence Roman's Bossy Bride, who was cross-entered in Saturday's Grade 1 Personal Ensign presented by NYRA Bets, will be making her stakes debut in her 16th career start.
Trained by Rob Atras, Bossy Bride has won two of her last three starts, including at one mile on March 13 at Aqueduct and last out against allowance company on July 10 at Belmont in a race that was moved off the turf.
A daughter of Malibu Moon, the 4-year-old Bossy Bride carries a 3-3-3 lifetime record into Wednesday. Manny Franco will ride from post 5.
The seventh running of the Summer Colony is slated as Race 4 on Wednesday's 10-race card with a post time of 2:29 p.m. Eastern. First post is 12:50 p.m. Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the 40-day summer meet on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course and the best way to bet every race of the 40-day summer meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, NYRA Bets is currently offering a $200 new member bonus in addition to a host of special weekly offers. The NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.