09/02/2009 12:00AM

Canadian Ballet wins Lena Spencer Stakes


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. Linda Rice remained tied with Todd Pletcher for leading trainer at this meet when Canadian Ballet held on for a neck victory in Wednesday s $74,500 Lena Spencer Stakes at Saratoga.

Rice and Pletcher ended Wednesday s 31st day of racing with 16 wins apiece. Pletcher took a one-win lead earlier on the card when Bonavento won a maiden race. Pletcher s 103 starters are 55 more than Rice has had.

In the Lena Spencer, Alan Garcia hustled Canadian Ballet away from the gate and maintained a clear advantage through fractions of 21.89 and 44.29 seconds for the opening half-mile. In the stretch, Canadian Ballet held off a late charge from Sly Storm and Smart and Fancy, the even-money favorite. Sly Storm got second by a nose over Smart and Fancy.

Canadian Ballet, a 4-year-old daughter of City Zip owned by Obviously NY Stable, ran 5 1/2 furlongs over the Mellon Turf Course in 1:01.57 and returned $7.20 as the second choice.

From Thursday through Saturday, Pletcher has horses in 17 of the 31 races carded, while Rice is in 14.

Simplify up by a nose

In Wednesday s $72,950 Loudonville for fillies and mares, Simplify got up in the final strides under Shaun Bridgmohan to nose out J Z Warrior. It was a neck back to Newport Harbour in third.

Simplify, the lone 3-year-old among the seven entrants, covered six furlongs in 1:09.91. Simplify, owned by Ron Winchell and trained by Steve Asmussen, returned $5.30.