The last two runnings of the Sword Dancer Stakes (G1) were won by the former European star Flintshire; this year, Idaho and Erupt will try to add their names to the list of overseas shippers that have won the race.
Leading the European charge is Michael B. Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith’s Idaho, trained by Aidan O’Brien. A full brother to last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Highland Reel, the son of Galileo has yet to win at the grade/group I level.
A winner on debut at the Curragh as a 2-year-old, Idaho closed out his juvenile season with a fourth in the prestigious Grand Criterium de Saint Cloud (G1). He opened his three-year-old season with a second and a third in a pair of Group 3 stakes before finishing third in the Investec Derby (G1) and second in the Irish Derby (G1). His only win at three came in the Great Voltigeur Stakes (G2).
In his first start this year, Idaho finished a distant sixth behind the aforementioned Highland Reel in the Coronation Cup (G1). He rebounded off of that effort with a half-length win in the Hardwicke Stakes (G2) at the Royal Ascot meeting and a third behind Enable and Ulysses in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1). Enable and Ulysses have come back to win the Yorkshire Oaks (G1) and Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) respectively this week.
Also coming over from Europe is Flaxman Holdings Ltd.’s Erupt, trained by Francis-Henri Graffard. A 5-year-old son of Dubawi, Eupt did not make it to the races until April of his 3-year-old season, though he went undefeated through his first four starts, which included a win in the Grand Prix de Paris (G1). He closed out the year with off the board finishes in the Prix Niel (G2), Prix de l’Arce de Triomphe (G1) and the Japan Cup (G1).
Erupt saw little success at four, with his only win coming in the Canadian International and a fourteenth in the Japan Cup in his final start last year. This year, Erupt has made just two starts — finishing fourth, beaten just a length in the Prix Ganay (G1), and ninth while being eased in the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud (G1).
Leading the American contingent is Money Multiplier, trained by Chad Brown and owned by Klaravich Stables Inc. and William H. Lawrence. The son of Lookin at Lucky took until May of his three-year-old season to break his maiden before going winless in four graded stakes attempts to close out the year.
He returned in April of his four-year-old season, taking a first-level allowance that spring-boarded him to a pair of seconds in the Man O’War Stakes (G1) and the United Nation Stakes (G1). Those efforts were followed up by a second-level allowance win and another second in last year’s edition of the Sword Dancer. In his final two starts last year, Money Multiplier was fourth in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1) and sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Money Multiplier won his only start this year, a 1 ½-length score in the Monmouth Stakes (G2).
Rounding out the field is the Grade I winner Bigger Picture and the Grade 2 winners Frank Conversation, Hunter O’Riley and Sadler’s Joy.
The $1,000,000 Sword Dancer is a “Win and You’re In” event for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf and is carded as the tenth race on a star-studded Travers Day card at Saratoga. Approximate post time is 4:49 pm ET.