Joe Ragsdale's multiple Grade III stakes winner Sarah Sis has her sights set on bigger prizes next out, according to trainer Ingrid Mason. The daughter of Sharp Humor has won half her 10 starts, including her last two – the $75,000 Panthers Stakes and Grade III $200,000 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows. The Arlington International Racecourse-based 3-year-old filly also won the Grade III $150,000 Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park in March and was pulled up and vanned off after the Grade I $1,000,000 Kentucky Oaks in May. Next up is a return to Grade I company for the dark bay charge.
“She's going to New York tomorrow; she'll run in the (Grade I $500,000) Ballerina (Stakes) at Saratoga,” Mason said. “We were going to run her in the (Grade I $500,000) Test Stakes, but she choked, which means she had a blockage in her esophagus. She was obviously off her feed at that point and wasn't right to ship. Since then, she's cleared up fine.”
Sarah Sis, who ran her first two races at Arlington last year, including an eye-opening 11¾-length debut victory and a runner-up finish to multiple stakes winner Quality Rocks in the Listed Arlington-Washington Lassie, will be taking on her elders for the first time in the Aug. 29 feature. She will also be cutting back to one turn for the first time since running a strong second to multiple stakes winner Promise Me Silver in the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes to kick off her sophomore season. The Ballerina is at seven furlongs.
“She's training really well and obviously running against older is tough,” Mason explained. “Eventually she'll have to run against them anyway, so you can't always avoid them. Granted there are some in there who are going to be very tough, but it's worth taking a shot. She's been working consistently and her last work was good. She hasn't run in a while, so I wanted to make sure she was ready.”
A filly who has shown tremendous speed in her early career, but learned to effectively rate in victories like the Honeybee, Sarah Sis could have a tactical advantage in the Ballerina.
“We'll see what happens,” Mason said. “If they go 23 seconds like they did in the Test, I want to be there (on the lead). If not, I can sit off the pace. What's good about my filly is we have those options. If it doesn't work out, we have options 'B' and 'C' for her. There's a race in West Virginia in September we would like to run her in, too.”
Sarah Sis completed her Ballerina prep with a bullet five furlongs in :59.40 on Thursday morning.
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