Beverly D. international scouting report: Sarandia

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

August 9th, 2017

German shipper Sarandia is intriguing enough on pedigree alone, but the Gestüt Fährhof homebred’s profile hints that she could be a live outsider in the Beverly D. (G1).

By Dansili, sire of smashing 2013 Beverly D. heroine (and champion turf female) Dank, Sarandia descends from the legendary Schwarzgold. At the top of the list of Germany’s great fillies on the racecourse, she became an internationally influential matron. Schwarzgold is the ancestress of Sagace, Slip Anchor, American turf champion Steinlen (the 1989 Arlington Million [G1] winner), and Japanese stars Manhattan Café and Buena Vista.

Sarandia’s human connections are equally of the highest caliber. Gestüt Fährhof has produced the likes of 2001 Arlington Million romper Silvano, Acatenango (Animal Kingdom’s broodmare sire), and Lomitas (Danedream’s sire).

Trainer Peter Schiergen, most associated with Danedream, has had success at Arlington before courtesy of Lucky Speed in the 2015 American St Leger (G3). The yard just celebrated another German Oaks (G1) win with Lacazar this past Sunday.

Schiergen said that Sarandia was here in search of firm turf. Indeed, her poor efforts have come on rain-softened ground, and she’s admirably consistent in the right conditions.

Although Sarandia has never raced over this short a trip, the manner of all five victories over 1 3/8 miles indicates the cutback to 1 3/16 miles is likely to suit her well. She’s a particularly strong traveler who shows early speed, moves on or leaving the turn, and puts the race away in upper stretch. She’s simply carrying her speed the remainder of the 1 3/8-mile distance, not needing it.

Sarandia’s Baden-Baden maiden win second time out at three, in May 2016, established her usual pattern. Taking a strong hold and racing keenly on the lead, she drew away.


After a fourth in the Preis Düsseldorf on heavy going, Sarandia rebounded in an allowance over the same course in preparation for the German Oaks. This time, she rallied from just off the pace.


Sarandia took up a forward spot in the German Oaks, struck the front, but could not stave off Serienholde. Going down fighting by a half-length, she defeated even-money favorite Architecture, the British invader who’d finished second in both the Epsom Oaks (G1) (to Minding) and Irish Oaks (G1) (to Seventh Heaven).


On paper, that’s a serious piece of form. Yet it might be best to treat it cautiously, considering Architecture probably didn’t replicate her best at Düsseldorf.

Sarandia was favored next time in the T. Von Zastrow Stutenpreis (G2), a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and her first attempt at 1 1/2 miles. Although in position in the Baden-Baden stretch, she appeared to be outstayed and wound up fifth – her only unplaced effort on a “good” course.


If the Von Zastrow were viewed on an ironclad basis, the form wouldn’t bode too well. The victorious Parvaneh went on to finish eighth in the E.P. Taylor (G1). The Von Zastrow fourth, Apple Betty, has run well since coming to the U.S. but without threatening to become a celebrity. Yet considering the distance, and the fact that Sarandia had beaten Parvaneh previously (fifth in the German Oaks), I’m not reading it as a true indicator of her ability.

Back down in trip and class for an October 2 listed stakes at Hannover, Sarandia was more in her element and spurted away on the far turn. Runner-up Distain was a British handicapper, putting the value of the race in context.


Sarandia was dispatched as the favorite in her first foreign venture, the Premio Lydia Tesio (G1), only to endure a debacle twice over. Unable to quicken on the soft going, she was losing her position in midstretch when getting clobbered. Regular rider Andrasch Starke wrapped up on her and allowed her to canter home in her own time. To underscore the meaninglessness of the bare result, Blond Me trudged home one spot ahead of her – the eventual winner of this May’s Middleton (G2) and most recently runner-up to Winter in the Nassau (G1).


Soft ground bedeviled Sarandia’s 2017 reappearance in a Hannover listed race in April, contributing to her poor seventh as she dropped right out and beat only one home. Sarandia had drubbed the runner-up Fosun in last summer’s German Oaks, and emphatically reiterated her superiority over that rival in her two ensuing starts, both listed stakes. She stalked before dismissing her foes at Baden-Baden May 25 rather comfortably.


Back to her front-running style last time at Hannover July 9, Sarandia was on cruise control on the far turn while her opponents are coming under pressure.


Sarandia is clearly a class apart from her competition at the German listed level. But how much better? As encouraging as her German Oaks placing was, it’s an open question whether she’s up to international Group 1 standard. And having a forward style in a race with Zipessa and Hawksmoor could theoretically make for a tactical challenge, although she might appreciate having more pace to stalk.

Still, Sarandia has the profile of a horse who’s capable of moving up markedly in American conditions. I wouldn’t be surprised if she delivers a career-best.

Photo courtesy Michael Adolphson via Twitter