Dance to Bristol defies odds
She’s the pretty filly who could.
Dance to Bristol attracted a lot of attention after her breeze at the Bowie Training Center in Bowie, Md. on Oct. 25.
The chestnut filly covered 5-furlongs in 58.60 seconds.
However, it’s remarkable that the 4-year-old campaigned by Susan Wantz and trained by Ollie Figgins III, would eventually go onto become a Grade 1 winner, win seven stakes, and be one of Thoroughbred racing’s most consistent performers. Dance to Bristol will be starting in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita Park, drawing post position no. 8, and jockey Xavier Perez gets the return call. The chestnut filly is the second choice on the morning line at odds of 5/1 in the 12 horse field.
But it was another work that caught the eye of the public, and although it was more than 2 1/2 years ago, Dance to Bristol’s breeze at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale would also make her the center of attention. The chestnut filly was consigned by Cary Frommer. When the horse came off the van at Timonium, Md. for the sale, she was just another horse, said Frommer. The filly that’s earned nearly $1 million, sold for $42,000.
“She was pretty, big and stretchy looking,” said Frommer. “She came into the sale with vet issues that we knew about, but the difference was that she breezed very nicely. She was very popular, but as is the case with sales, people couldn’t get past the vetting issues. Everyone came to see her after the breeze. She was really popular, but after they vetted her, they weren’t interested, with the exception of the people who bought her.”
The filly has flourished while in the care of trainer Ollie Figgins III. It’s the horseman’s attention to detail, his ability to get the filly right despite her physical limitations, that has played a critical role in her success.
“I think that if she had been in a lot of different barns, she would have never prospered like she has,” said Frommer. “She’s done so well because the Wantz’s and Ollie Figgins are onto her issues every time she breezes. She’s had a lot of chiropractic and acupuncture work. They train her according to her problems, and they’ve done that from the beginning.”
Dance to Bristol has been a stakes winner at ages two through four, but the filly ran off seven consecutive victories earlier this year, including winning five successive stakes, with the last of those wins being in the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. The race gave her a berth in Saturday’s $1 million Filly and Mare Sprint. The Ballerina was a Breeders’ Cup Win and Your In stakes race.
Dance to Bristol’s five consecutive stakes wins were in the Sugar Maple Stakes, Skipat Stakes, Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses Handicap, Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap and Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes. The daughter of the 2004 Eclipse Award winning sprinter Speightstown, placed second in her last start, the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont Park on Sept. 21.
“I don’t care what level you’re talking about, seven consecutive victories is saying something, and with the majority of those victories coming in stakes,” said Frommer. “She had a very fast breeze the other day. They said she came out of it great. They’re really excited about it. They were on the bubble about going to the Breeders’ Cup or just retiring her. Every race, she comes out with a little wear and tear, and they get her back and run her again.”
Dance to Bristol has 10 wins and 8 seconds from 19 starts, and has bankrolled $980,880.