Our Flash Drive Seeks Third Graded Stakes Victory in Ballston Spa

August 25, 2022

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Live Oak Plantation’s Florida homebred Our Flash Drive will attempt to keep her good form intact while striving for a third career graded stakes victory in Saturday’s 34th running of the Grade 2, $400,000 Ballston Spa going 1 1/16 miles for older fillies and mares over the Mellon turf at Saratoga Race Course.

A victory would provide Live Oak Plantation, owned by Charlotte Weber, with their third Ballston Spa victress after winning with Dynaslew [2010] and My Typhoon [2006] – a half-sister to Group 1 winners and influential sires Galileo and Sea the Stars.

Trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse, the 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper captured the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose on August 7 at Saratoga last out. Never off the board in four starts this year, Our Flash Drive earned a runner-up placing in the Grade 3 Beaugay on May 14 at Belmont Park and was third in the Grade 2 Nassau on July 2 at Woodbine.

In the De La Rose, Our Flash Drive stalked the pace from the outside in fourth and remained in the clear to fend off a late inside rally from Plum Ali to win by one length and produce a career-best 92 Beyer Speed Figure.

“I thought her last race was big,” Casse said. “Obviously, this is going to be a tougher race for her, but she’s training well, she likes it here and we figured we’d give it a shot.”

During her sophomore campaign, Our Flash Drive became a dual surface Grade 3 winner at Woodbine when capturing the Selene over the Tapeta last July and the Ontario Colleen on the turf the following month.

A third-out maiden winner in her 3-year-old debut last June going seven furlongs over Woodbine’s Tapeta, Our Flash Drive has matured according to Casse. He said the development mimics that of multiple Grade 1-winner Got Stormy, who defeated colts in two non-consecutive runnings of the Grade 1 Fourstardave at the Spa.

“She’s just gotten much better. At two, she was kind of a mental mess. At three, she was better but still not great. But now at four, she’s come a long way,” Casse said. “Got Stormy had the same issue. She got better mentally, and when she did it made her a better horse. Not to suggest she’s as good at her, but they both got better mentally, and it helped them both.”

Dylan Davis, the pilot in 4-of-11 starts, will ride from post 3.

Technical Analysis proves best in the Grade 3 Gallorette at Pimlico (Jim Duley/Maryland Jockey Club)

Klaravich Stables’ multiple graded stakes winner Technical Analysis will be in pursuit of her third career graded stakes victory.

Technical Analysis, trained by six-time Ballston Spa winner Chad Brown, captured last year’s Grade 3 Lake George and Grade 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga. An in-hand winner of the Grade 3 Gallorette on May 21 at Pimlico, the 4-year-old daughter of Kingman was a last-out second behind stablemate In Italian, who led a Brown-trained superfecta in the Grade 1 Diana on July 16 at the Spa.

Technical Analysis, purchased for just over $250,000 at the 2019 Tattersalls October Sale, brags the highest bankroll in the field with earnings of $608,200 and a consistent 10-5-3-1 record.

Jose Ortiz, the pilot in all five of her career victories, will be aboard from post 5.

Brown will also saddle two other Ballston Spa aspirants in graded stakes winners Lemista [post 2, Flavien Prat] and Fluffy Socks [post 4, Irad Ortiz, Jr.], who ran one-two in the Grade 3 Matchmaker on July 23 at Monmouth Park last out.

Fluffy Socks takes the Grade 2 Sands Point at Belmont Park on October 16th, 2021 (Dom Napolitano)

A Head of Plains Partners homebred, Fluffy Socks is in search of her first trip to the winner’s circle since capturing last year’s Grade 2 Sands Point at Belmont Park. The 4-year-old Slumber filly has been consistent this year, recording narrow runner-up finishes in the Matchmaker as well as the Grade 3 Modesty on May 6 at Churchill Downs, finishing a half-length behind stable mate Bleecker Street.

Peter Brant’s Lemista earned her first stateside graded stakes victory in the Matchmaker last out. During her European campaign with Irish conditioner Ger Lyons, the 5-year-old Raven’s Pass mare captured the Group 3 Lodge Park in March 2020 at Naas and the Group 2 Kilboy Estates in July 2020 at The Curragh.

Lemista earned her lone Grade 1 placing in last August’s Beverly D. at Arlington Park. 

Woodford Racing and Team D’s High Opinion will be out for redemption following a narrow defeat to Viadera in last year’s Ballston Spa for trainer Tony Dutrow. The 5-year-old Lemon Drop Kid mare earned her first stakes victory two starts back when shipping to Parx Racing for the June 14 Neshaminy Match Series, which she won by three-quarters of a length.

High Opinion earned graded stakes black type when second in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel in October at Belmont and third in the Grade 3 Beaugay in May.

High Opinion victorious in the Neshaminy Match Series Stakes at Parx on June 14th (Barbara Weidl/EQUI-PHOTO)

“She’s a stakes winner and has been graded stakes-placed several times, so at this point the only other accomplishment she can make is to be a graded stakes winner,” said Dutrow. “She ran very well in the Ballston Spa last year and she’s never been better so we’re taking another try at it.”

High Opinion arrives off a fourth-place finish at allowance optional claiming level on July 27 at Saratoga, where she finished three lengths back as the lukewarm favorite.

“I’m not troubled by that race. She’s doing fantastic and we’re looking forward to Saturday,” Dutrow said.

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez picks up the mount from post 1.

Carded as Race 4 on Saturday’s action-packed program, the Ballston Spa kicks off graded stakes action on Runhappy Travers Day, which features the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers – the Spa’s marquee event – as well as the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial, the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego, the Grade 1, $600,000 Personal Ensign, and the Grade 1, $750,000 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Invitational, which is a “Win And You’re In” qualifier for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf.  First post on the 13-race card is 11:35 a.m. Eastern.

Saratoga Live will present daily coverage and analysis of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.

NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the summer meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.

By Ryan Martin/NYRA Press Office

Main photo: Our Flash Drive wins the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes on August 7th (Chelsea Durand)

Great article and you are absolutely right. However your piece is sensible and logical- something that doesn't register with the opposition (who rely on emotion and "siege tactics")

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