Three Diamonds Farm's Time Limit will look to build on an impressive 6 ¼-length debut win when she steps up in class as part of a six-horse field in the $100,000 Stillwater for New York-bred juvenile fillies on Thursday at Saratoga Race Course.
Contested at six furlongs on the main track, the recently renamed Stillwater will be held at Saratoga for the first time after the previous five iterations were held at Belmont Park as the Lynbrook. With action moving to the Spa, Time Limit, trained by Mike Maker, will look to earn stakes black type after besting a six-horse field in a five-furlong sprint on June 23 at Belmont under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano.
“I told Javier in the paddock that I think she could run,” said Maker assistant Nolan Ramsey. “She got out of the gate quick, got the lead and never looked back. We were really pleased with her.”
Time Limit arrived at Saratoga from Belmont and breezed five furlongs in 1:01.66 on Saturday as she settles in to her new surroundings.
“She worked this morning and it was solid. She's a really happy filly and we have no complaints, so we're looking forward to it,” Ramsey said. “She really took the track and really seemed to like it.”
Jockey Jose Ortiz will take over for Castellano aboard the daughter of Bustin Stones, breaking from post 6 as she looks for success over the same track on which she breezed.
Trainer Gary Contessa will saddle two contenders, with last-out winner Classy Sadie and Jen's Battle, who ran third in her debut in the race won by Time Limit last month.
Owned by Pines Stables, John Irwin, Paul Daley and Debra Ann Acri, Classy Sadie ran third in her first start on May 2 on the Belmont turf before posting a 3 ¾-length score in a four-horse field to win a five-furlong sprint taken off the turf on June 20 at Belmont.
After the gate-to-wire effort in that win, Contessa said he wanted to keep the Emcee filly on the main track.
“She won her last race pretty handily and came back good. She's a good front-running option,” he said.
Eric Cancel, aboard for both of her starts, will have the return call and will exit post 4.
Leonard Green's Jen's Battle will be looking for a maiden-breaking win after her third-place outing. The Declaration of War filly breezed Sunday on Saratoga's Oklahoma training track, working four furlongs in 49.29 seconds.
“I ran her the first time and I expected her to win, but she broke bad and then started getting green from the dirt in her face,” Contessa said. “Then, she finally figured it out and came running going five-eighths. So, I really believe in her and think she's a nice filly. I think the fact this race is six furlongs will help. She's a little more seasoned and has that race under her belt. She's a great come-from-behind option.”
Manny Franco will be in the irons from post 1.
Golden Square's My Italian Rabbi also was a winner in her first start, with a 2 ½-length victory on May 30 in a five-furlong sprint over a Belmont main track labeled good. The Jeremiah Englehart trainee, a daughter of Competitive Edge, was purchased for $160,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.
Luis Saez will have the call from post 5.
Jewel of Arabia, a $140,000 purchase at the 2017 Keeneland November Sale, will make her first start, drawing post 2 with Joel Rosario aboard. The daughter of Daredevil is trained by Christophe Clement and owned by Sumaya U.S. Stable.
Fierce Lady, trained by Dermot Magner, was a six-length winner in her first start on June 22 at Belmont, earning a field-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure. Castellano, who was aboard for the victory in the five-furlong sprint on Big Sandy, will have the return engagement out of post 3.
The Stillwater is carded as Race 3 as a part of Thursday's 10-race card. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
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