April 12, 2024

War Like Goddess favored to threepeat in Glens Falls

War Like Goddess wins the Bewitch Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

War Like Goddess figures to be strongly favored to win Thursday’s $250,000 Glens Falls (G2) at Saratoga for the third year in succession, but will have to do so coming off of one of the dullest performances of her career.

A winner in 10 of 15 lifetime starts and an Eclipse Award finalist for champion turf mare the last two seasons, War Like Goddess consistently is an odds-on favorite in her races. That included the June 9 New York (G1) at Belmont Park, but the Bill Mott trainee perhaps found the cutback to 1 1/4 miles too sharp when finishing sixth in a compact field of seven.

“We’re coming off a race that wasn’t her best,” Mott said. “It was a mile and a quarter, which is a little short for her and there wasn’t a lot of pace. I went in knowing it wasn’t her favorite distance, but it’s the only Grade 1 for fillies on the grass going that distance, so we gave it a try. It didn’t work out, but she’s doing really well.”

Shortening up from two miles is the German-bred Amazing Grace, who most recently finished fourth facing males in the Belmont Gold Cup (G2). She has dropped two straight since winning the Orchid (G3) at Gulfstream in her U.S. debut.

Trainer Chad Brown sends out Virginia Joy, who is winless since edging War Like Goddess by a neck in the Flower Bowl (G2) last September, and the Grade 1-winning McKulick, who placed third in the New York behind stablemate Marketsegmentation.

Trainer Graham Motion also has two entries in the 1 3/8-mile Glen Falls, the most interesting of which is Sopran Basilea. Second to subsequent Diana (G1) heroine Whitebeam in the Gallorette (G3) at Pimlico in her U.S. debut, Sopran Basilea most recently captured the Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) at Delaware Park, overcoming a very slow pace on soft ground.

“She’s been a little bit of a surprise for me – I was surprised just how well she ran in the Gallorette going a shorter distance and I was surprised and impressed with her performance the other day at Delaware going a distance that she obviously prefers,” Motion said.