Souper Sensational returns to Spa to headline G2 Prioress field
by Brian Bohl
Live Oak Plantation’s graded stakes-winner Souper Sensational will look to build on a strong runner-up effort in a stakes sprint at Saratoga Race Course with a return engagement at the summer meet, headlining a six-horse field of 3-year-old fillies in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Prioress contested at six furlongs at the Spa.
The 74th running of the Prioress, slated as Race 5 on the 12-race card, will be part of a packed day that includes the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold up for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/4 miles in a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Del Mar; the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl for older fillies and mares going 1 3/8 miles on the turf [“Win and You’re In” for Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf; and the Grade 3, $200,000 Saranac for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. First post will be 12:35 p.m. Eastern.
Souper Sensational notched her first graded stakes win with a 3 1/4-length score in the Grade 3 Victory Ride on July 10 at Belmont. Making her Saratoga debut, Souper Sensational stalked the pace before running second to Bella Sofia in the Grade 1 Longines Test contested at seven furlongs on August 7 over a fast track.
Returning three weeks later and shortened up in distance, the daughter of Hall of Famer Curlin will again team with jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., drawing the outermost post.
Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse said Souper Sensational, a $725,000 purchase at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga Select Sale, has been training forwardly at Saratoga since the Test, including a four-furlong breeze in 47.88 seconds on August 25 over the main track.
“She’s doing well. She’s a nice horse,” Casse said. “We’ve been proud of her efforts. She came out of the Test well and is doing everything right.”
Holly Hill Stables’ Edie Meeny Miny Mo handled the step up in class last out, running second to Leader of the Band in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks on July 31.
Unraced as a juvenile, the Miguel Vera trainee dominated in her first two career starts at Monmouth, posting a 4 1/4-length debut win on April 23 at six furlongs before besting optional claimers going the same distance on June 13.
After making a strong account of herself against steeper competition, the Upstart filly will make her Saratoga debut with Hall of Famer Victor Espinoza, who rode her in the Monmouth Oaks, back in the irons from post 2.
“She’s going to get to the race in perfect condition. I’m very happy with the way she’s training,” Vera said. “I’m excited to see her run in New York. The last race, I was happy with how she ran. She didn’t break sharp enough but then she did everything right. I’d be more confident if she can sit behind the speed, like we had planned it for that race, but there was no speed in there, so she had to go on the lead. I still think she did awesome for the first time in a graded stakes and going two turns.”
Edie Meeny Mino Mo was a $400,000 purchase at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Mid-Atlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Vera said returning to sprinting could also be a positive for his horse, who will add blinkers.
“I think she can be a good distance horse, but I she needs a little more experience,” Vera said.
Amendment Nineteen will elevate to stakes company for the first time after sandwiching a victory around runner-up efforts in her first three starts for former conditioner Linda Rice. The Constitution filly, now in the care of reigning Eclipse Award-winner Brad Cox for owner Juddmonte, ran second in her debut in April sprinting six furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack and posted a maiden-breaking two-length score stretched out to a one-turn mile over a sloppy and sealed Belmont track on May 30.
After running second in a seven-furlong allowance sprint on July 24 at Saratoga, Amendment Nineteen will return to the same track, exiting post 5 with Jose Ortiz drawing the assignment.
Tee-N-Jay Farm’s Oxana won her last two starts at Parx in dominating fashion and she makes her first stakes start. Trained by Timothy Hills, the Pennsylvania-bred Oxana ran a dull seventh on turf in her debut in June at Monmouth but has thrived since moving to dirt, drawing away for an 18-length score against a seven-horse field of fellow state breds going 6 1/2 furlongs on June 23. Oxana then posted another double-digit length win [10 1/4] competing at six furlongs against older, open company last out on July 20.
The daughter of Uptowncharlybrown will pick up the services of jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. from the inside post.
Joel Politi’s Li’l Tootsie made her turf debut last out in the Galway, running ninth on August 15 at Saratoga, but will return to the main track for the Prioress. Trainer Tom Amoss tried the Tapiture filly on the grass for the first time after a ninth-place finish in the Grade 3 Indiana Oaks in July and will see if she can show the form displayed when she started her sophomore campaign 2-for-2 with both wins at Fair Grounds.
Dylan Davis will have the call from post 3.
P.D. Ladner’s Cilla enters her first Saratoga appearance off back-to-back stakes wins as she makes her first start for trainer Charlton Baker after previously being trained by Brett Brinkman. Cilla won the Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle in June at Evangeline before capturing the off-the-turf Blue Sparkler on July 10 at Monmouth Park.
Cilla, 4-0-2 in nine career starts, will have Tyler Gaffalione in the irons from post 4.
Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the summer meet on FOX Sports. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.
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