Horse Racing Picks: Sword Dancer Stakes Prediction, Preview, and Odds (Aug 26)
- Grade 1 action on the turf at Saratoga this weekend comes in the form of the Sword Dancer Stakes
- The race is staged over a mile and a half and is a key prep race for the Breeders’ Cup Turf
One of the key races at Saratoga this weekend with an eye on the Breeders’ Cup Turf comes in the form of the Sword Dancer Stakes. This race is run over a mile and a half, and offers a purse of $1 million. You can find the latest odds and our prediction below.
Schedule and How To Watch
- When: Saturday, August 26, 2023 at 5:31 p.m. ET
- Where: Saratoga, New York
- How To Watch: FanDuel TV
Sword Dancer Stakes
Latest odds taken from an offshore sportsbook
The Sword Dancer Stakes is one of the most interesting races on the card this weekend, as horses aged four and older compete over a mile and a half on the turf. The race is a key prep for the Breeders’ Cup Turf this year, which will be staged at Santa Anita in November. Christophe Clement has won each of the two previous editions of the race with Gufo, and his chances of a third straight win rest on Soldier Rising.
The five-year-old has struggled for victories this season, with his best effort coming when second in the G1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park. His recent run at Saratoga would also raise doubts, as he was only seventh in the G2 Bowling Green Stakes. He retains plenty of ability, but this could be a big ask.
Stone Age is the hot favorite for Chad Brown this weekend, as he makes his return to action in the United States. He was a fine second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf last year, but came up short when chasing big pots in Hong Kong over his previous two starts. He was fifth on his previous start at Saratoga in the Saratoga Derby, but he holds excellent form at this level after finishing fifth in both the G1 Irish Champion Stakes and G1 Champion Stakes.
Verstappen could easily be one of the improvers in this field. He finished ahead of a number of re-appearing rivals to take second in the G2 Bowling Green Stakes at Saratoga in late July. However, he is unproven at this level, having finished back in seventh in the G1 Man o’ War in May.
Sword Dancer Stakes Prediction
I am more than happy to take on the favorite this weekend, and a chance will be taken on the enigma that is Bolshoi Ballet. Aidan O’Brien’s horses are on fire in Europe at present, and huge positives can be taken from this runner’s performance in a red-hot renewal of the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last time out. That could easily be the best form line in this field.