George Krikorian’s War Like Goddess brings a three-race win streak into Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl, an 11-furlong inner turf test for older fillies and mares, at Saratoga Race Course.
The 44th renewal of the Flower Bowl, which offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf in November at Del Mar, is part of a loaded Saturday lineup that features the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup, a 10-furlong test for 3-year-olds that is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The 12-race card is bolstered by the Grade 2, $250,000 Prioress, a six-furlong sprint for sophomore fillies and the Grade 3, $200,000 Saranac at 1 1/16-miles on the inner turf for sophomores. First post is 12:35 p.m. Eastern.
War Like Goddess has won 5-of-6 starts, utilizing a powerful turn-of-foot to notch graded scores in her last three outings, comprising the 11-furlong Grade 3 Orchid in March at Gulfstream, the 12-furlong Grade 3 Bewitch in April at Keeneland, and the 12-furlong Grade 2 Glens Falls last out on August 7 over the Spa inner turf.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said he is confident War Like Goddess can handle the step up to Grade 1 company.
“It’s all a test, right? These are tough horses but the goal is to try and win a Grade 1 with her,” Mott said. “She’s done quite well and handled every step so far, so we hope she move another step forward and accomplish this.”
The 4-year-old English Channel bay, bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm, was purchased for $30,000 at the OBS June 2019 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale.
Mott said he is proud of the filly’s efforts thus far through six starts, banking $383,684 in purse earnings.
“Her performance is good no matter how much they paid for her,” said Mott, who won the Flower Bowl previously with Gaily Gaily , Dahlia’s Dreamer , Northern Emerald  and Dynaforce .
Julien Leparoux retains the mount from post 3.
Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, represented here by My Sister Nat [post 4, Jose Ortiz] and Great Island [post 6, Joel Rosario], has won the Flower Bowl a record six times, comprised of scores with Stacelita , Stephanie’s Kitten [2014-15], Lady Eli , Fourstar Crook  and Sistercharlie .
Owner Peter Brant has won the Flower Bowl a record four times, previously scoring with Just a Game , Scoot , River Memories  and Sistercharlie. He will send out a pair of starters here in My Sister Nat for Brown and American Bridge for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget.
A 6-year-old daughter of Acclamation out of the Galileo mare Starlet’s Sister, My Sister Nat is a half-sister to Sistercharlie. Last year, the French-bred bay captured the 12-furlong Grade 3 Waya ahead of runner-up efforts to Civil Union in both the Grade 2 Glens Falls at the Spa and the Grade 1 Flower Bowl, which was contested at 10-furlongs at Belmont.
Through three starts this year, My Sister Nat has finished fourth in the 11-furlong Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay in May, third in the 10-furlong Grade 2 New York in June and second last out in the 12-furlong Grade 2 Glens Falls, 3 1/4-lengths back of War Like Goddess.
Brown said he would appreciate an opportunity to win the Flower Bowl with a sibling of Sistercharlie, who he trained for Brant.
“It would be special to win this race again,” Brown said. “She’s a real consistent horse, but she’ll have her work cut out for her with War Like Goddess in there. We’ll try again and hope for a different result.”
Last year, Ortiz provided My Sister Nat a more prominent trip, sitting less than three lengths off the pace, to win the Waya. Brown said he is hopeful the returning rider can utilize similar tactics Saturday after racing from well off the pace in recent efforts.
“That’s her, sometimes she falls out of the race a little bit, so hopefully we can get a little better position,” Brown said.
Alpha Delta Stables’ Great Island, a 5-year-old Scat Daddy chestnut, has won two of her last three starts, including scores in the off-the-turf Suwannee River in February at Gulfstream and a last-to-first score last out in the nine-furlong Grade 3 Matchmaker on July 17 over firm Monmouth Park turf.
The lightly-raced Great Island is out of the unraced Rahy mare Voyage, who is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1-winners Point of Entry and Pine Island.
Great Island entered the Matchmaker from a two-month respite off a willing third in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Gallorette on May 15 at Pimlico, a key race that winner Mean Mary exited to win the Grade 2 New York at Belmont and runner-up Vigilantes Way used as a springboard to victory in the Grade 3 Eatontown at Monmouth.
Brown said he was pleased with the half-length score last out in the Matchmaker.
“She ran great and showed a nice, closing kick,” Brown said. “We’ve always wanted to try her around three turns, so this is a chance to do it.”
Brown said he is hopeful both his entrants will find a way not to lose touch with the field.
“Getting position in these races has been key,” said Brown, who leads all trainers with 34 wins at the Spa summer meet heading into Wednesday’s card.
The Brant-owned American Bridge will make her North American debut from a score in the 10-furlong Group 3 Premio Del Giubileo on June 27 at the San Siro for Rouget.
By Kodiac and out of the Dutch Art mare More Than Sotka, American Bridge will exit post 2 under Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Madaket Stables, Tim Cambron, Anna Cambron and Bradley Thoroughbreds’ graded-stakes winner La Signare will stretch out in distance following a third-place finish last out in the nine-furlong Grade 1 Diana on July 17 at the Spa.
La Signare has earned black type in three consecutive Grade 1 appearances, starting with a third in the Jenny Wiley in April at Keeneland before running second in the Gamely in May at Santa Anita. The 6-year-old French-bred daughter of Siyouni finished 2 1/2-lengths back of Althiqa last out in the Diana.
Conditioned by Brendan Walsh, the talented bay has trained forwardly out of that effort, including a half-mile breeze in 49.71 on August 28 on the Oklahoma dirt training track.
“She looks unreal. Saratoga does very good for them. She’s really blossomed between starts,” said Walsh assistant Thomas Molloy. “She galloped out in 1:01 and 1:15 in her last work. The added distance should help her.”
La Signare will emerge from the inside post under Ricardo Santana, Jr.
Belladonna Racing’s Coastana enters from a sharp first-level allowance score traveling 11-furlongs on the Spa turf on August 6.
Trained by Cherie DeVaux, the 4-year-old daughter of Kitten’s Joy, out of the Pulpit mare Reachfortheheavens, is a full sister to multiple Grade 1-winner Real Solution.
Purchased for $290,000 at the OBS June 2019 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale, Coastana will exit post 7 in her stakes debut under leading rider Luis Saez.
Elizabeth Mateo’s Lovely Lucky has won 2-of-3 starts on the Saratoga turf, including an allowance score last summer and an optional-claiming win July 22, both traveling 11-furlongs. The 5-year-old Lookin At Lucky mare ran fourth in last year’s Glens Falls ahead of an off-the-board effort in the Flower Bowl at Belmont.
Trained by Tom Albertrani, Lovely Lucky will emerge from post 5 under Hall of Famer John Velazquez.
The Flower Bowl is slated as Race 11 on Saturday’s 12-race card. Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the summer meet on FOX Sports. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, 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.
NYRA Press Release
Photo: War Like Goddess (NYRA photo)