Personal Ensign Stakes 2022 – Runners Guide & Picks for Saratoga Grade I

Clairiere is the favorite among Personal Ensign Stakes 2022 runners and picks

If bettors worried about a dip in quality for the Personal Ensign Stakes after its removal from the Breeders Cup Challenge Series, then the Saratoga Grade I race attracting a stellar line-up of fillies and mares dispels all doubts. The lion’s share of a $600,000 purse is what five fabulous females chase in Upstate New York this Saturday.

What Date & Time Is The Personal Ensign Stakes 2022?

Run over nine furlongs (1,800m or a mile and a furlong), the Grade I Personal Ensign Stakes is for fillies and mares aged four and up at Saratoga Race Course with a post time of 4:32pm ET.

📅Date: Saturday August 27, 2022
🏇Racetrack: Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, New York
💰 Purse: $600,000
📺 TV: FOX Sports

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Long-time rivals Clairiere and Malathaat clash once again, with last year’s Personal Ensign Stakes heroine Letruska also back for a defense her crown.

Oddsmakers on the top horse racing betting sites have their work cut out pricing up a hotly competitive edition of the race. This is our guide to the five fillies and mares.

1. Letruska

  • Trainer: Fausto Gutierrez
  • Jockey: Jose Ortiz
  • Owners: St George Stables
  • Age: 6
  • Sire: Super Saver
  • Record: 11 from 18
  • Form: 0-3-1-5-1-4-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-0-1-1-5
  • Morning Line Odds: 3-1 (+300) with BetOnline
  • Notable Wins: 2x Apple Blossom Handicap, Ogden Phipps Stakes, Personal Ensign Stakes, Spinster Stakes
  • Post Position: 1

Last year’s winner, Letruska, remains in training with the Fausto Gutierrez barn. Now a five-time Grade I scorer, the daughter of Super Saver made a successful defense of the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park in April.

Letruska gave Clairiere, the Morning Line favorite for this, weight and a beating down in Arkansas with an all-the-way victory. However, that rival completely turning things around on her in the Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park on June 11.

As the oldest of Personal Ensign Stakes runners, Letruska is vulnerable to younger fillies. It wouldn’t be a huge shock if she ran better here than her last outing at an NYRA track.

2. Search Results

  • Trainer: Chad Brown
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat
  • Owners: Klaravich Stables
  • Age: 4
  • Sire: Flatter
  • Record: 6 from 10
  • Form: 1-1-1-2-1-3-3-1-3-1
  • Morning Line Odds: 7-2 (+350 with BetOnline
  • Notable Wins: Acorn Stakes, Ruffian Stakes
  • Post Position: 2

Chad Brown seeks a first-ever Personal Ensign Stakes winner with Search Results. Placed behind Malathaat in the Kentucky Oaks last May, there was just a neck between them come the end of the Churchill Downs home stretch.

Since then, Search Results has added a Grade I win to her resume when taking the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park. A long break from racing in the fall and winter has paid off with the daughter of Flatter two from four starts this year.

Although Search Results needed her return at Aqueduct, she scored in the Grade II Ruffian Stakes back at Belmont Park. Clairiere went past her in the Ogden Phipps where she made the show and she’s since took the Grade III Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park on July 23.

After a month’s rest from her New Jersey success, Search Results can have another battle with Clairiere with the pair each finishing in front of the other in two previous head-to-heads.

3. Clairiere

  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario
  • Owners: Stonestreet Stables
  • Age: 4
  • Sire: Curlin
  • Record: 6 from 14
  • Form: 1-2-1-2-4-3-3-2-1-4-1-2-1-1
  • Morning Line Odds: 6-5 (+120 with BetOnline
  • Notable Wins: Cotillion Stakes, Ogden Phipps Stakes
  • Post Position: 3

Stonestreet Stables have always thought highly of Clairiere. Steve Asmussen saddled Midnight Bisou to Personal Ensign Stakes success in 2019, while jockey Joel Rosario has two wins in the race.

Oddsmakers have little choice but to make Clairiere favourite off the back of consecutive victories over Malathaat this summer. The only blemish on her resume this year is defeat by Letruska when getting weight in the Apple Blossom.

Clairiere’s owner-breeders will have had this race in mind for her long-term. The reason why is her dam, Cavorting, carried the same colors to victory in the Personal Ensign Stakes back in 2016.

In other words, Clairiere is bred for this Saratoga test. The world will be watching and expecting her to emulate her mom and land first prize.

4. Crazy Beautiful

  • Trainer: Kenneth McPeek
  • Jockey: Julien Leparoux
  • Owners: Phoenix Thoroughbreds
  • Age: 4
  • Sire: Liam’s Map
  • Record: 5 from 16
  • Form: 1-1-2-2-6-2-1-0-1-1-6-2-3-4-6-3
  • Morning Line Odds: 15-1 (+1500 with BetOnline
  • Notable Wins: Gulfstream Park Oaks, Summertime Oaks, Delaware Oaks
  • Post Position: 4

The outsider of five, Crazy Beautiful, has something to find at Grade I level. Like Brown, Kenneth McPeek seeks a first victory in the Personal Ensign Stakes but looks up against her.

Crazy Beautiful, a Phoenix Thoroughbreds filly by Liam’s Map, has some lengths to make up on Letruska, Malathaat and Clairiere based on her three runs this year.

While she made the show in the Grade II Shuvee Stakes here over course and distance on July 24,  she finished where the market expected her to. This is no easier, so Crazy Beautiful has a tons on her plate.

5. Malathaat

  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • Jockey: John Velazquez
  • Owners: Shadwell Estates
  • Age: 4
  • Sire: Curlin
  • Record: 7 from 11
  • Form: 1-1-1-1-1-2-1-3-1-2-2
  • Morning Line Odds: 5-2 (+250 with BetOnline
  • Notable Wins: Ashland Stakes, Kentucky Oaks, Alabama Stakes
  • Post Position: 5

Todd Pletcher looks to end a decade-long wait for another Personal Ensign Stakes winner with Malathaat. As a three-year-old, she finished ahead of Clairiere three times. Things have been quite different this year, though.

With every clash, the tables have turned more and more in the favorite’s favor here. There was just as head between them when Malathaat made the show in the Breeders Cup Distaff at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in California last fall.

Despite a Grade III win following a winter off, the daughter of Curlin saw Clairiere snatch the Ogden Phipps from her on the line. A more decisive win for that one followed in the Shuvee around this track and trip.

All signs suggest Clairiere has progressed past Malathaat but she should certainly make the show – something she’s never failed to do in all 11 career outings to date.

Personal Ensign Stakes Picks & Verdict

Meeting again at the same track off level weights, there’s no obvious reason why CLAIRIERE shouldn’t beat MALATHAAT once more to tie their head-to-head record at 3 wins apiece. Last year’s heroine Letruska looks exposed, so SEARCH RESULTS can make the Saratoga show instead:

Personal Ensign Stakes Facts and Figures

  • Fastest Time: 1:47.19 – Abel Tasman (2018)
  • Most Trainer Wins: 4 – MacKenzie Miller (1959, 1975, 1975, 1993) & Claude McGaughey III (1990, 1995, 2004, 2010)
  • Most Jockey Wins: 8 – Angel Cordero Jr (1968, 1972, 1972, 1967, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989)

Recent Personal Ensign Stakes Winners

  • 2021 – LETRUSKA (Irad Ortiz, Fausto Gutierrez)
  • 2020 – VEXATIOUS (Jose Lezcano, Jack Sisterson)
  • 2019 – MIDNIGHT BISOU (Mike Smith, Steve Asmussen)
  • 2018 – ABEL TASMAN (Mike Smith, Bob Baffert)
  • 2017 – FOREVER UNBRIDLED (Joel Rosario, Dallas Stewart)
  • 2016 – CAVORTING (Javier Castellano, Kiaran McLaughlin)
  • 2015 – SHEER DRAMA (Joe Bravo, David Fawkes)
  • 2014 – CLOSE HATCHES (Joel Rosario, William Mott)

Watch Letruska Win The 2021 Personal Ensign Stakes Again

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