SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Stonestreet Stables’ Twilight Gleaming made an impression across multiple continents as a 2-year-old last year, culminating with a victory in the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, and will make her Saratoga Race Course debut in Friday’s $150,000 Coronation Cup for sophomore fillies sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on the Mellon turf course.
The Wesley Ward trainee, who has posted four wins and three second-place efforts in seven career starts, received a five-month freshening following her half-length victory over Go Bears Go in the five-furlong Breeders’ Cup contest over firm Del Mar turf in November. After finishing second in the 5 1/2-furlong Palisades in April at Keeneland, Twilight Gleaming earned a return winner’s circle trip by edging Devine Charger by a head in the five-furlong Mamzelle on May 14 at Churchill.
Ward said he’s excited to see the Irish-bred National Defense filly build on that effort as she ramps up for what he hopes is another memorable campaign for Stonestreet Stables owner Barbara Banke.
“She looks great in training and we’re thrilled to get her back out there, and I’m especially excited for Barbara Banke,” Ward said. “She’s had some great success so far and we’re looking forward to building on that.”
Twilight Gleaming, a maiden winner at second asking in May 2021 at Belmont, followed with a runner-up effort in the Group 2 Queen Mary one month later at Ascot. She captured the Prix de la Vallee d’Auge in August at Deauville in France ahead of her Breeders’ Cup coup.
Twilight Gleaming has breezed three times on Saratoga’s Oklahoma turf training course, including a bullet five-furlong effort in 59.44 seconds on – fitting for her name – Independence Day.
“She looked very impressive in that breeze,” Ward said.
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride from post 3.
Waterville Lake Stables’ Derrynane, who ran a competitive fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint in finishing just one length off the winner, will get a return engagement with Twilight Gleaming for trainer Christophe Clement.
The New York-homebred kicked off her 2022 with a third-place effort in the Limestone in April at Keeneland before running fifth in the Grade 3 Soaring Softly in May at Belmont Park. Last out, Derrynane ran third in the Stormy Blues on June 19 at Laurel Park while carrying a field-high 122 pounds.
“Even though she finished third last time, I thought it was a nice race,” Clement said. “She had plenty of weight on and ran a good race. I’m excited to run her back. I just hope the ground stays on the fast side. She’s doing very well.”
Derrynane will return to Saratoga, where she won her debut last July before running fifth next out at the Spa in the Bolton Landing. Joel Rosario will have the call from post 6.
Paradise Farms and David Staudacher’s Lady Scarlet is riding high off her first graded stakes win following a 3 3/4-length victory in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness on May 20 over the Pimlico main track.
Trained by Mike Maker, Lady Scarlet captured her stakes debut in the Cicada in March at Aqueduct Racetrack before stepping up in class and finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Beaumont in April at Keeneland. She finished eighth in her lone turf start in August, sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs at Saratoga.
Fresh off her win in Maryland, the Union Rags filly will pick up jockey Tyler Gaffalione’s services as she exits post 9.
Silverton Hill’s Static Fire will move up to stakes competition for the first time after winning her first two races for trainer Brian Lynch. A daughter of Speightster, she won on turf in her September debut at the Spa and made her seasonal bow with a 1 3/4-length win on the Churchill main track in May. Returning to grass, she will break from post 7 with Julien Leparoux aboard.
Four-time stakes winner Marissa’s Lady, owned by the Boone Family Trust and the Tillema Family Trust, will make her turf debut. She has racked up victories in the Fern Creek, Gowell, Valdale and Cincinnati Trophy at both Churchill and Turfway Park, respectively.
Trainer William Morey moved Marissa’s Lady up in class last out, where she ran fourth in the Grade 2 Eight Belles on May 6 at Churchill. She will break from post 1 in tandem with Kendrick Carmouche.
Arnmore Thoroughbreds’ Poppy Flower, a chestnut daughter of Lea, won the Stormy Blues last out for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. She will make her first Saratoga appearance since finishing second in the Bolton Landing in August. Jose Ortiz will be in the irons from post 8.
Rounding out the field is the Irish-bred Artos, second last out in the Stormy Blues at Laurel Park after a third in the Mamzelle, for trainer Rusty Arnold [post 4, Jose Lezcano]; Sweet Solare, who is cross-entered in the $135,000 Wilton on Thursday at Saratoga for trainer Horacio De Paz [post 5, Ricardo Santana, Jr.]; the graded-stakes placed Mystic Eyes [post 10, Luis Saez] for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher; and a pair from trainer Jonathan Thomas in Empress Tigress [post 11, Hall of Famer John Velazquez] and Benbang [post 2, Manny Franco].
Everyoneloveslinda is entered for the main track only.
The Coronation Cup is slated as Race 8 on Friday’s 10-race card, which co-features the Grade 3, $175,000 Forbidden Apple in Race 9. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.
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Photo: Twilight Gleaming breaking her maiden last year at Belmont (Chelsea Durand)