08/12/2011 5:03PM

Saratoga: Canadian invaders Banner Bill, Indian Evening top Saratoga Special


Banner Bill, undefeated in three starts at Woodbine, and Indian Evening, a debut winner at Woodbine, were two of the six 2-year-olds entered for Monday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Three Chimneys Saratoga Special at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Banner Bill, a son of Rockport Harbor, won a maiden race in May, the Victoria Stakes by 5 3/4 lengths in June and the Colin Stakes in July, all over the synthetic surface at Woodbine. Trainer Ralph Biamonte, 66, is making his first visit to Saratoga.

“This is going to be the ultimate test,” Biamonte said. “We’re going to meet probably the best of the best with the exception of [Overdriven], who is not going to be in there, but we got to try.”

Though Banner Bill has raced exclusively on synthetics, Biamonte said Banner Bill has trained over Woodbine’s dirt track, and on Thursday he had Alex Solis blow out Banner Bill through the lane over Saratoga’s main track. Solis will ride Banner Bill in the Special.

“Solis blew him out down the lane and he seemed to handle it okay so we’re hoping he’s better on this,’’ Biamonte said.

Indian Evening is a son of Indian Charlie out of a mare, Unenchantedevening, who is a half-sister to Favorite Trick, who won the Saratoga Special and Hopeful Stakes here in 1997 en route to an undefeated season that earned him Horse of the Year. Indian Evening is trained by Josie Carroll.

Others entered in the race include Union Rags, Stat, Italo, and Trinniberg.