DEL MAR, Calif. -- On opposite sides of the nation Wednesday, Blind Luck and Havre de Grace had workouts as their owners and trainers contemplate options, which include a possible seventh head-to-head meeting or both 4-year-old fillies facing males in separate races during the coming weeks.
Blind Luck, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2010, is being considered for three races on Aug. 28 by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer – the $1 million Pacific Classic against males at Del Mar, the $300,000 Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga, or the Grade 2, $250,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes at Monmouth Park. The Personal Ensign and Molly Pitcher are for fillies and mares.
Havre de Grace is likely to face males in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga on Sept. 3, but Hollendorfer's decision could affect where Havre de Grace starts, leaving open the possibility she could meet Blind Luck in the Personal Ensign.
Rick Porter, the owner of Havre de Grace, said on Wednesday that he is "95 percent" certain that he will run Havre de Grace in the Woodward Stakes. Porter challenged Blind Luck's team, specifically Hollendorfer, to point their filly for the Woodward, a key late summer race for older horses in New York.
"I'm challenging him to come [to] the Woodward," Porter said.
Hollendorfer was not interested in Porter's proposal when reached late Wednesday morning. "I don't have time for that," he said.
Blind Luck worked six furlongs Wednesday in 1:13.40 at Del Mar, the third-fastest of 14 recorded works at the distance. "It was a nice even workout," Hollendorfer said. "She galloped out really nice."
Havre de Grace worked in 59.60 seconds at Delaware Park, the fastest of 29 five furlong-works.
Blind Luck and Havre de Grace top the filly and mare divisional rankings. They have raced against each other six times, with Blind Luck finishing in front of Havre de Grace in four races. The pair have finished within a neck of each other four times and their rivalry has left racing fans wanting to see more. In their most recent start, Blind Luck defeated Havre de Grace by a nose in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on July 16.
Last summer, Blind Luck won the Delaware Oaks and Alabama Stakes, with Havre de Grace finishing second in both races. The order was reversed in the Cotillion Stakes when Havre de Grace defeated Blind Luck by a neck. The pair finished their 3-year-old seasons with Blind Luck finishing second and Havre de Grace third in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.
In their first meeting this year, Havre de Grace won the Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park by 3 1/4 lengths over Blind Luck. In the Delaware Handicap, the pair engged in a long battle with Blind Luck narrowly prevailing at the wire.
Hollendorfer said that if Blind Luck is sent to New York or New Jersey, she would leave next Wednesday, which allows time for one more workout at Del Mar, probably on Tuesday. A Tuesday workout would also fit with her schedule if she were to go to the Pacific Classic.
-- additional reporting by David Grening