Kentucky-breds were at their best on Saturday at Saratoga, winning all six Grade 1 events, topped by Code of Honor in the $1.25 million Travers S. (G1) and a trio of Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifiers.
Code of Honor’s win in the 150th running of the Midsummer Derby made him the first Grade 1 winner for Noble Mission (GB) and is out of the Grade 3 winner Reunited. Both sire and dam, like Code of Honor, raced for Will Farish’s Lane’s End Farm. Code of Honor, who won the Fountain of Youth S. (G2) and Dwyer S. (G3), and was second in the Kentucky Derby (G1), established himself as the top 3-year-old colt heading in the fall.
With his win in the $850,000 Sword Dancer S. (G1), Annals of Time earned a berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf. The star-crossed 6-year-old son of Temple City-Lemon Haze won the 2016 Hollywood Derby (G1), but missed much of the next two years due to various ailments. Patiently handled by Chad Brown, the bay horse put it all together on Saturday in a career-defining performance. Bred by Monticule, Annals of Time is from the same family as multiple Grade 1 winner Hollywood Story.
Midnight Bisou turned in another stellar performance in the $650 Personal Ensign S. (G1) to earn a trip to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). The 4-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute has won all six of her starts this year, three Grade 1s, a Grade 2, and a pair of Grade 3s. Saturday’s win earned her a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 104. Bred by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Midnight Bisou is a daughter of Florida Oaks (G3) winner Diva Delite.
Rounding out the trio of Breeders’ Cup qualifiers was Come Dancing in the Ballerina S. (G1), the Malibu Moon mare who rolled to a 3 1/2-length win and is now eligible for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Saturday’s win was the first Grade 1 score for Come Dancing, who annexed the Ruffian S. (G2) and Distaff H. (G3) this past spring. Come Dancing races for her breeder Blue Devil Racing Stable. She is a daughter of the Demoiselle S. (G2) winner Tizahit.
Mitole bounced back from a third-place finish in the Vanderbilt H. (G1) with a huge performance in the $600,000 Forego S., winning by three lengths in a seven-furlong stakes record of 1:20.80. The Vanderbilt was Mitole’s only loss in his last nine starts as the 4-year-old Eskendereya colt is clearly at the top of the male sprint division. Mitole was bred by Ed Cox, Jr. and is out of Indian Miss, a sister to Davona Dale S. (G2) Live Lively.
Rounding out the Saratoga sextet was Mind Control, who nipped Hog Creek Hustle and Shancelot in the $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens S. Winner of last year’s Hopeful S. (G1) and the Bay Shore S. (G3), this term, Mind Control races for his breeder Red Oak Stable, in partnership with Madaket Stable. A 3-year-old son of Stay Thirsty, Mind Control is out of the stakes winner Feel That Fire.
Racing over the upcoming Labor Day weekend will feature a host of stakes, including the closing weekend of both the Del Mar and Saratoga meets, and the opening of the lucrative turf meet at Kentucky Downs.