Juvenile Fillies Set to Run in Historica Spinaway Stakes
The Grade I Spinaway Stakes is set for Saturday, Sept. 2 at Saratoga, and the 7 furlong race for 2-year-old fillies offers a purse of $350,000 and provides the winner another guaranteed entry into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 3 at Del Mar. Sponsored by 14 Hands Winery, the Juvenile Fillies race offers a $1 Million purse.
The history of the Spinaway goes back to 1881 when the race was initially contested at 5 furlongs. For over 70 years, the sprint was contested at 6 furlongs before stretching to 7 furlongs starting in 1994. Historian’s recall the Spinaway was cancelled in 1911 and 1912 following a New York State legislated ban on pari-mutuel betting.
The current purse of $350,000 was established in 2014. The 7 furlong record in the Spinaway was set in 2009 by Hot Dixie Chic, an obvious fine filly, who as a 2-5 favorite stalked and pounced to take command in the stretch and win in a record time of 1:22.28. The previous 6 furlong record was set by Ruffian in 1974 (1:08.60).
Trainer Todd Pletcher has won the two recent editions of the Spinaway in 2015 and 2016, and Pletcher has won the race a record 6 times. In 2015, Rachel’s Valentina was the victor with John Velazquez aboard, and 2016 was a very rare dead heat between Pretty City Dancer by trainer Mark Casse (Irad Ortiz, Jr.) and Pletcher’s entry Sweet Loretta, ridden by recent Hall of Fame inductee Javier Castellano. Irad Ortiz, Jr. was the leading rider at Saratoga in 2015, and Castellano led all jockeys in wins at Saratoga in 2013 and 2014.
Here is a race replay of that exciting finish and dead heat in the 2016 Spinaway Stakes. Since 1990, other champion fillies and Spinaway winners include: Meadow Star, Flanders, Ashado, Hot Dixie Chick, R Heat Lightning, Sweet Reason and Rachel’s Valentina. Here is a list of winners over the past 20 years, along with the jockeys, trainers, owners and final times at Saratoga.
Tune in Sat., Sept. 2 from 6:00-7:00pm for live TV coverage of the 2017 Spinaway Stakes on NBCSN.