Saratoga: Value plays for the Ballerina Stakes on Saturday, Aug. 28

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 27th, 2021

Six fillies and mares will aim to knock off the sensational #1 Gamine (3-5) in the $500,000 Ballerina S. (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday. Trained by Bob Baffert, the once-beaten daughter of Into Mischief has been untouchable in seven one-turn dashes in her lifetime, which includes a dominant win in the 2020 Test S. (G1) on this surface last season.

Gamine has not been headed from a trio of runs this campaign while amassing wins by a combined 16 1/2 lengths. The four-year-old has been training in lights-out fashion in advance of her second try on the Saratoga dirt, and she looks to be totally controlling speed in the affair, as well. Regular rider John Velazquez retains the mount atop the superstar Kentucky-bred.

The value in the field comes in the vertical exotics, specifically with the exacta and trifecta. Godolphin homebred #2 Lake Avenue (12-1) does her best running in the Empire State and brings fine form to the contest at a nice price for trainer Bill Mott. By top sire Tapit, the chestnut lass was a game second at Belmont Park two prior which was followed by a fine runner-up showing in the Honorable Miss H. (G2) here last time out.

The Grade 2 heroine closed well into a soft pace in the six-furlong dash in her latest performance and will appreciate the extra ground to work with on Saturday. Mott is excellent at pointing a horse for a particular race and he will have the four-year-old poised for her best in the Ballerina. Junior Alvarado will ride and have the filly saving ground to the top of the stretch.

#6 Estilo Talentoso (8-1) has really grown on me this season and rates as a prime top-three contender for Juan Arriagada. The Grade 3 vixen defeated my top pick two races prior, and she is on a five-race streak of winning or placing in graded stakes contests. The Maclean’s Music filly has hit the board in all 15 career tries to date, and she signaled her readiness for Saturday with a bullet gate drill at Delaware last weekend. Jose Ortiz inherits the mount atop the hard-trying bay.


  • $30 exacta 1 with 2 ($30)
  • $10 trifecta key 1 with 2,6 ($20)