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Abel Tasman Stars At Saratoga

Bob Baffert’s outstanding mare Abel Tasman recorded her sixth G1 win in the Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga.
Baffert trains Abel Tasman, a 4YO by Quality Road from Vargas Girl, for the China Horse Club and Clearsky Farm with the mare fighting out the finish with old rival Elate in a repeat of their clash in last year’s G1 CCA Oaks at Saratoga.
“She’s just phenomenal,” said Baffert, celebrating his 12th G1 win at Saratoga.
“She’s getting better with age. She’s one of the best I’ve ever trained and she just keeps showing it.”
Abel Tasman’s G1 wins last year came in the Kentucky Oaks, Acorn Stakes and CCA Oaks, before seconds in the GI Cotillion Stakles and charging late miss behind champion older mare Forever Unbridled in the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
She entered the Personal Ensign off a 7.5 lengths win in Belmont’s GI Ogden Phipps on June 9 on the same day Baffert’s champion colt Justify completed the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes.
Glorious Empire, by Holy Roman Emperor, stamped his ticket to the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf by winning the G1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga on Saturday.
The 7YO became the 13th individual G1 winner by Holy Roman Emperor when got the better of old rival Channel Maker outright after the pair had dead-heated when they last met in the G2 Bowling Green Stakes at Saratoga last month.
More Than Ready 3YO Catholic Boy claimed his first G1 win on dirt in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga for trainer Jonathan Thomas.
Fresh from his narrow G1 Belmont Derby win in New York, the three-year-old showed a devastating turn of foot to pull four lengths clear of Irish raider Mendelssohn with Preakness Stakes runner-up Bravazo third.
Catholic Boy has six wins and one placing from nine starts for $US1,842,000 in earnings.
The 5YO gelding Whitmore gained a well-deserved first G1 success with victory in the Forego Stakes at Saratoga on August 25.
The Ronald Moquett-trained five-year-old gelding made the most of a dream passage up the inside rail to register a length and a half success over dual G1 winner City Of Light who came home a nose in front of Limousine Liberal.
Whitmore became the third G1 scorer for her veteran sire Pleasantly Perfect, who was sold to stand at the Turkish National Stud in 2014.
Marley’s Freedom continued her steep upward curve since joining the Bob Baffert team with a comfortable success in the G1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga.
The four-year-old was well positioned by Mike Smith and showed a smart turn of foot in the home straight to come home three and a quarter lengths clear of Still There with a further length and a quarter to Lewis Bay in third.
Kentucky based sire Shackleford was provided with his first G1 winner courtesy of Promises Fulfilled in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Saratoga.
The progressive three-year-old led from gate to post under Luis Saez to come a home a length and a quarter ahead of Seven Trumpets with Firenze Fire another half a length away in third.

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