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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Blue Heaven Farm’s Starship Jubilee outperformed the 2/5 heavy favorite Sistercharlie to win Saturday’s $200,000 Ballston Spa Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
Sent from the far outside post 6 under Javier Castellano as the 3/1 second choice, Starship Jubilee saved ground in third. Sistercharlie’s stablemate North Broadway set the pace as expected, running off with a huge early lead while posting opening fractions of :24.29, :48.18, and 1:12.68.
The field cut into the pacesetter’s sizeable advantage in the far turn, and midway through, Castellano tipped Starship Jubilee out to run three-wide, cleanly blocking the path of an improving Sistercharlie. Straightening for home in the middle of the lane, Starship Jubilee continued to kick turf into the favorite’s face as she ranged up to take a slim lead over Call Me Love.
Starship Jubilee remained expertly positioned in the middle of the track (Sistercharlie’s favorite place to run) as she held sway over Call Me Love in the late stages to win by a neck. The Kevin Attard trainee completed the 1 1/16-mile firm inner turf route in a final time of 1:41.76.
“The way the race developed was phenomenal,” Castellano said. “I like the way she did it. We had to take on a number-one horse in the country like Sistercharlie. I think it was the right time today and the right place to beat her, not to take anything from my horse. I’m very satisfied with the way she did it today.”
Sistercharlie lacked her usual devastating turn of foot in the stretch and had to settle for third, beaten 1 1/4 lengths. Bramble Queen and North Broadway completed the order of finish.
Another Broad was a Main Track Only entry.
Starship Jubilee’s win was her fourth from as many starts in 2020 and avenged her third-place finish in last year’s event. The Florida-bred 7-year-old Indy Wind mare improved her overall record to 36-18-5-3 with $1,608,667 earned.
“I thought Castellano rode her perfectly,” Attard said. “(North Broadway) opened up and did the job they intended her to do and set the pace up for Sistercharlie. Going into the turn, Sistercharlie was flanking us the whole way and had dead aim on us. Coming around the turn to the 1/4 pole, I could see (Sistercharlie’s jockey) start to go to work and she didn’t look like she was picking up the bit yet, and I thought if we could just stay ahead of her, at this point, we might be able to get the advantage. The favorite didn’t kick in and (Call Me Love) kept battling back. It looked like we were safe and home, but the one wouldn’t lay down and made it a good fight to the finish.”
Starship Jubilee returned $8.20 to win and $5.10 to place, while Call Me Love paid $6.80 to place. There was no show betting.
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