Well-known steeplechase owners Lauren and Rene Woolcott went to the Saratoga Race Course winner’s circle on Saturday when their homebred Sadler’s Joy, racing in the silks of their Woodslane Farm, went from last to first to win the $1-million Sword Dancer Handicap (Gr. 1).
The Woolcotts bred the chestnut four-year-old colt in Kentucky from their unraced Dynaformer mare Dynaire. Sadler’s Joy is by Kitten’s Joy, the champion sire of Ken and Sarah Ramsey. Two days earlier, another son of Kitten’s Joy, Diplomat, won the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1) over National Fences.
Trained by Tom Albertrani and ridden by Julien Leparoux, 7-to-1 Sadler’s Joy came away a step slowly and circled the field in the lane to win by a half-length over Money Multiplier. Sadler’s Joy ran the Sword Dancer’s 1 1/2 miles in 2:24.58 on a firm inner turf course.
The Sword Dancer was the first Grade 1 victory for Sadler’s Joy, who previously won Gulfstream Park’s Pan American Stakes (Gr. 2) on April 1.