Viadera © Mathea Kelley/

Saratoga Grade 2 success for Viadera

Viadera (Bated Breath) prevailed by a nose with a thrilling finish in the Gr.2 Ballston Spa Stakes on Saturday (28th August).

Taken from the Thoroughbred Daily News, 29th August 2021:

Viadera went into the Gr.2 Ballston Spa Stakes as favourite. She broke sharply and settled into third as her stablemate Tamahere set honest fractions of :22.60 and :47.55. The favourite was guided off the fence for clear sailing at the top of the lane and, with Kalifornia Queen making her move outside, it looked in upper stretch like Brown could very well run 1-2-3. Paint-scraping High Opinion had other ideas, but was bottled up a bit while trying to squeeze inside of Tamahere. Viadera continued to plug away in between horses, and just held off the fast-finishing High Opinion.

Winning rider Joel Rosario said: "Turning for home, I was clear. She always tries really hard. She's a very good filly... At the last minute, I knew the horse was coming inside [High Opinion], but she was so game and fighting going forward, so I was never worried about it, but that horse came very close."

Juddmonte's Garrett O'Rourke added: "I think last time she was coming off a long layoff and the pace didn't work out all that well. It was better here. She was sharper and I still thought the filly on the inside probably had momentum on us going to the line, but she just has a way of always getting her nose down on the line. She keeps winning photo finishes and everyone wants a horse with ability, but that competitive edge is fantastic as well."

Trainer Chad Brown indicated that the Gr.1 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland (1st October) would likely be her next target. He said: "I'm not sure if she's a Breeders' Cup horse, but we sure would like to go back and defend her title in the Matriarch [Gr.1] at the end of the year, which will most likely, all things being equal, be the last start of her career. First thing's first we'll see how she comes out of the race and see if she can make that race at Keeneland."