Come Dancing ready for final fling

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Carlos Martin is hoping that stable star Come Dancing can sign off her career with a ‘championship performance’ in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Keeneland.

The mare is set to bring down the curtain on her illustrious career in the November 7th contest and Martin feels she is heading to Kentucky in superb order.

She completed four-furlongs in 48.89 seconds on the Belmont Park dirt training track over the weekend. Earlier in the month she had sparkled in a 5f piece of work under big-race rider Irad Ortiz Jr but this more sedate effort was pitch perfect according to Martin as the mare heads for Keeneland on Tuesday.

“I thought her work on the 15th with Irad was sensational, and we took our foot off the gas pedal a little [this time] since she’s leaving on Tuesday morning,” Martin said. “We just wanted to have a nice, maintenance-style work. I told our exercise rider that I wanted to go between 48 and 49 (seconds).

“For not having a walkie-talkie like a lot of modern day trainers, he did great and hit it right on the money. I was pretty pleased.”

Come Dancing has been a torch-bearer for Martin and her connections, with six stakes wins and five graded stakes triumphs on her CV.

The Malibu Moon mare won four graded stakes in 2019, taking out the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga alongside Grade 2 wins at Belmont in the Gallant Bloom and Ruffian.

She has already amassed more than $1m in prizemoney and Martin suggests her departure from the yard will leave a hole, though he is eager to have her sign off on a high note.

“It’s exciting. She’s been such a great mare for us and has had such a great career,” Martin said.

“We’re going to miss her, but it’s time. She’s done enough. Hopefully, she can go out on a championship note and show how good she is on the biggest stage. We’re excited about it. Hopefully, it will be one of her best races in her great career.”

Come Dancing ran sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita a year ago and her trainer hopes a slightly different preparation this time around can see her improve on that showing.

“When she’s on our game, she’s an elite sprinter,” Martin said. “We’re going in a little fresher to it this year with a little different approach by design. We’ll be there and get over the track, and I think she’ll have every opportunity to fire her best shot.”

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