Twilight Eclipse Could Become Millionaire with Sword Dancer (G1) Win
Twilight Eclipse has been knocking on the door for his first grade one win. If he accomplishes the feat on Sunday in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (G1) at Saratoga, he will become racing’s newest millionaire.
The 5-year-old Purim gelding started 2014 in style with a win in the Mac Diarmida (G2) at Gulfstream before venturing across the world to compete in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-1). He didn’t fire in the race, but after returning to the States, ran a respectable fourth in two mile Belmont Gold Cup Invitational in early June. He was a few works short for the race, but it’s set him up for a very productive summer.
He comes in to the Sword Dancer often a narrow defeat in the United Nations Handicap (G1) on July 6 at Monmouth Park.
Last year he was second in both the Sword Dancer (G1) and the Man O’War (G1) before running a bangup race (despite having a brutal trip) in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
If you were to look at Twilight Eclipse on the end of a shank, you’d probably think he was an athletic but plain and unassuming bay horse. Put the tack on and it’s a whole different ballgame. Trainer Tom Albertrani says the gelding is one of the strongest horses he’s ever trained. Day in and day out he drags his exercise rider around the racetrack and wants to run all day.
Albertrani is bullish about Twilight Eclipse’s chances on Sunday, especially considering there’s not much speed on paper in the compact field of seven. Hopefully jockey Jose Lezcano can use the horse’s tactical speed to dictate how the race unfolds.
Twilight Eclipse’s main competition is United Nations (G1) winner Main Sequence, who is making making his second start since being transferred to Graham Motion. Shug McGaughey’s grade one winner Imagining will also take some money as he looks to rebound from a sixth place finish in the Manhattan (G1).
The Sword Dancer is race 10 on Sunday with post time at 6:04 ET. Twilight Eclipse breaks from post 7.