SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Stephanie Seymour Brant’s Significant Form closely tracked the early pace before grinding her way to the lead late to win Saturday’s $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
Breaking from post 4 under John Velazquez at 7/1 odds, Significant Form was able to clear her inner foes and cross over to the inside. Meanwhile, Conquest Hardcandy broke alertly from post 6 and posted opening fractions of :24.22, :48.47, and 1:12.68.
Still in hand as she rounded the far turn just behind the pacesetter, Significant Form tipped out at the top of the stretch and began grinding away at the leader. Indian Blessing snuck through on the rail under Conquest Hardcandy and looked like a winner, but in the shadow of the wire, Significant Form stuck her neck out to take her victory.
One of three Chad Brown trainees in the race, Significant Form completed the 1 1/16-mile event over the firm turf course in a final time of 1:41.39.
“She’s very good,” Velazquez said. “It was special to be on her. They told me she was a nice horse, and they were right about it. The way she ran down the lane, she responded right away and showed great fight.”
Less than a length separated first through fifth. Indian Blessing was a neck ahead of Starship Jubilee, while the winner’s stablemate Fifty Five was a nose behind in fourth. Overwhelmed late, Conquest Hardcandy faded late to fifth. Hogans Holiday, Scottish Jig, Secret Message, and the 5/2 favorite Mascha – who had a less than ideal trip and lacked the needed kick late – completed the order of finish.
Significant Form’s win was her third at the graded level, having won the Miss Grillo Stakes (G3) as a juvenile and the Intercontinental Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park this past June. The 4-year-old daughter of Creative Cause, whose Intercontinental win came off of a 6 1/2-month layoff, improved her record to 11-4-1-0 with $694,865 earned.
“We gave her some time off during the winter, just to put some weight on,” Brown said. “No physical problems, really. After her 7/8 (mile) race at Belmont, I screwed up running her too short, 5 1/2 furlongs (last out in the Caress Stakes). It was poor judgment, but Peter and Stephanie (Brant) really wanted to take a look at this race with both of their horses, Fifty Five and Significant Form.”
Significant Form returned $16.60 to win, $8 to place, and $5.90 to show. Indian Blessing brought back $9.90 to place and $7.60 to show, while Starship Jubilee paid $5.20 to show.