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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Juddmonte Farms homebred Viadera rallied late and nosed out a trio of game rivals to score big in Saturday’s $400,000 Ballston Spa Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
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Viadera was the 4/5 favorite under Joel Rosario when sent from post 3 in the field of six older fillies and mares, half of whom hailed from the Chad Brown barn.
Tamahere set a comfortable early pace but could not hold off the onslaught of runners in the stretch including stablemate Viadera, who shot past at the 1/16 pole and held off High Opinion’s rail surge to win by a nose.
The final time for the 1 1/16-mile firm inner turf route was 1:41.82.
“It was a better trip today with horses being in front and I was able to track there for a little bit,” Rosario said. “Turning for home, I was clear. She always tries really hard. She’s a very good filly. At the last minute, I knew (High Opinion) was coming inside, but she was so game and fighting going forward, so I was never worried about it, but that horse came very close.”
Anthony Dutrow trainee High Opinion interrupted the Brown stable parade, with Brown’s third runner Kalifornia Queen taking third a 1/2-length behind and Tamahere a head back in fourth.
New York Girl and Platinum Paynter completed the order of finish.
Viadera’s win was her fourth in her past 5 starts and was a return to form after finishing fourth in the local De La Rose Stakes last time out, her first race after an 8-month break. The British-bred 5-year-old Bated Breath mare’s record improved to 15-7-1-1 with $618,641 earned.
“Joel got in really good position this time and made sure there weren’t too many horses in front of him and in his way when he wanted to make his run,” said Brown after winning his sixth race title. “She got a nice, pocketed ground-saving trip, and once again she showed that she knows where the wire is. She’s won a couple of close photo finishes now in her career.”
Viadera returned $3.60 to win, $2.90 to place, and $2.30 to show. High Opinion brought back $5 to place and $3.30 to show. Kalifornia Queen paid $3 to show.
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