Rebel’s Romance, Mysterious Night Arrive at Saratoga for Appleby

July 22, 2023

Rebel’s Romance scores in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

NYRA Press Office

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— Trainer Charlie Appleby bolstered his Saratoga raiders with a pair of talented Group/Grade 1-winners in Rebel’s Romance and Mysterious Night, who arrived here Friday to join their Godolphin stablemate Silver Knott.

Rebel’s Romance, a 5-year-old Irish-homebred son of Dubawi, completed his 2022 campaign on a four-race win streak, posting Group/Grade 1 scores in the Grosser Preis von Berlin in August at Hoppegarten, the Preis von Europa in September at Cologne and the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November at Keeneland.

He was last seen finishing seventh in his seasonal debut in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on March 25 at Meydan Racecourse.

“He’s getting better with age as all Dubawis seem to do. A Group 1-winner, a Breeders’ Cup-winner and he’s not ran since Dubai World Cup night which was his first start back this year. It wasn’t an ideal run, but he’s in good form,” said Chris Connett, Appleby’s travelling assistant.

Rebel’s Romance is pointing to the 11-furlong Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green on July 30 with an eye towards the 12-furlong Grade 1, $750,000 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer on August 26, which offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf in November at Santa Anita Park.

Mysterious Night invades Woodbine and scores in the Summer (G1) Sep. 17, 2022 (Michael Burns)

Mysterious Night, a sophomore Irish-homebred son of Dark Angel, took the Group 3 Prix Francois Boutin in August at Deauville and completed his juvenile campaign with a 5 3/4-length score over Appraise in the Grade 1 Summer in September at Woodbine.

The bay gelding has made two off-the-board starts this year in England, including a last-out 12th in the Group 3 Jersey on June 24 at Royal Ascot.

Mysterious Night is pointing to the Grade 2, $500,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, a one-mile test for sophomores on August 4.

“A change of scenery might rejuvenate him. He won his Grade 1 up in Canada last year, so hopefully it will suit him getting back on a flat left-handed track,” Connett said. “He’s a nice stamp of a horse. When you see him out on the track together with Rebel’s Romance, he’s going to look a little small – but that’s just because Rebel’s is so big. He’s very well put together and athletic.”

Silver Knott, a 3-year-old Lope de Vega colt, will also target the Hall of Fame. The dual Group 3-winning bay made two starts this summer at Belmont, finishing third in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Pennine Ridge in June and a prominent fifth in the 10-furlong Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational on July 8.

“Stepping back in trip might help him. He seemed to empty out in that last race,” Connett said.

While Rebel’s Romance and Mysterious Night are expected to clear quarantine on Sunday, Silver Knott stayed in New York and shipped up to Saratoga after the Belmont Derby.

“He had a very easy week after the race – hand walked and jogged on the main track,” Connett said. “He’s been getting back into some regular canters and we’ll stretch his legs a little bit more on Tuesday.”

@jonathanstettin Wonderful article! You’re a great ambassador for the game! We’ve been spoiled with elite equine athletes in recent memory.

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