Havre de Grace, Blind Luck could square off Aug. 28

The best rivalry in racing now is Blind Luck and Havre de Grace, who have met on the track six times

The best rivalry in recent years has been Zenyatta-Rachel Alexandra.

Except for one pesky detail: They never actually raced against each other.

The best rivalry in racing now is such because Blind Luck and Havre de Grace have met on the track six times, and the races always produce dramatic and close finishes.

There’s a good chance Chapter 7 will occur at Saratoga Race Course, in the Grade I Personal Ensign on Aug. 28.

Although there are other options, the connections on both sides have said that they’re strongly considering the Personal Ensign.

Not only would it renew the rivalry, but it would also bring both fillies back to the track where they staged a terrific stretch battle in the last year’s Alabama, won by Blind Luck by a neck.

“The Personal Ensign was always on the table, but I am also looking real hard at the Pacific Classic on the same day,” Jerry Hollendorfer, trainer of Blind Luck, told the New York Racing Association. “We haven’t made a decision, and there’s no timetable, because we’re still a ways out from Aug. 28. It’s easy to plan your workout schedule when the races are on the same day.”

Hollendorfer is scheduled to arrive in Saratoga on Thursday for his induction into the Racing Hall of Fame on Friday.

Only once, in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic, did the fillies not fill the exacta, as Blind Luck and Havre de Grace were second and third, respectively, to Unrivaled Belle.

She’s Unsaddled Belle now, having been retired after flipping and breaking her withers in the paddock at Belmont Park on June 19, so she won’t be joining Blind Luck and Havre de Grace in the Personal Ensign.

Havre de Grace is scheduled to run at Saratoga no matter what, it’s just an issue of whether she goes to the Personal Ensign or faces males in the Woodward a week later.

“Right now, we are leaning heavily toward the Personal Ensign,” owner Rick Porter said. “There are a couple things that could change that, one being if there were a lot of defections by Whitney horses from the Woodward. But I would say that we are 85 percent to run in the Personal Ensign.”

The protracted stretch duel between Blind Luck and Havre de Grace in the Delaware Handicap on July 16, won by Blind Luck by the smallest of noses, remains perhaps the top racing highlight of the year.

In the five meetings between the two besides the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic, the margins of victory have been a nose, neck, neck, 31⁄4 and a nose.

Blind Luck was a length ahead of Havre de Grace for second in the BC Ladies’ Classic, 13⁄4 lengths behind Unrivaled Belle.

In this year’s Delaware Handicap, the two superstars were 181⁄2 lengths ahead of the rest of the field.

Blind Luck, 12-7-2 from 21 starts, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 at Del Mar, site of the Pacific Classic, on Friday.

Havre de Grave, trained by Larry Jones, is 6-4-2 from 12 starts.

She worked five furlongs in 1:00.00 at Delaware Park on Monday.


Uncle Mo breezed five furlongs in 1:00.22 on Tuesday, in company with stablemate Caixa Eletronica.

The 2010 2-year-old Eclipse Award winner is on schedule for the Grade I King’s Bishop on Travers Day, Aug. 27.

“He felt great,” regular rider John Velazquez told NYRA. “Very good. Very, very good.”

“For him to outwork a horse like Caixa Eletronica in only his second five-eighths gives me a lot of con­fidence in his fitness level, and that he is in form, so I am really, really pleased,” trainer Todd Pletcher said.

Still, Uncle Mo can’t afford the slightest misstep, Pletcher said.

Uncle Mo has recovered from a liver ailment, and got back to the track just in time to prepare for the King’s Bishop.

Tuesday’s work was his fourth since his first published workout in months, on July 22.

“I think we’re in great shape,” Pletcher said. “You’re always worried when you’re coming in and you think it’s [schedule] a little tight. You want everything to go according to plan, and we’ve been fort­unate that we’ve gotten fast tracks when we needed and everything has gone right on schedule.”

Uncle Mo is scheduled for his next breeze Monday.

“To get to this point from where we were four months ago is just amazing,” owner Mike Repole said. “It seems like we’re getting closer to the Mo we all know and love. I wouldn’t trade places with anyone in that race, that’s for sure.”


Trainer Christophe Clement will decide this morning whether to send three-time Grade I winner Winchester to Saturday’s Grade I Sword Dancer.

Winchester worked five furlongs in :59.89 on the Oklahoma turf training track on Monday. Weather will be a factor in the decision, Clement said.

Multiple champion turf star Gio Ponti won’t run at Saratoga and is pointing toward the Arlington Million, which he won in 2009 and was beaten a half-length last year by Debussy. . . .

Drosselmeyer, the 2010 Belmont Stakes winner, worked in company with Royal Delta on Monday, in :59.04.

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said he’ll run in the Sword Dancer. . . .

Today’s feature is the $75,000 Waya for fillies and mares 3 and up going a mile and a half on the inner turf course.

Snow Top Mountain, second in four straight stakes last year, including two at Saratoga and the Grade I Garden City, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite.

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