Personal Ensign Stakes
The Personal Ensign Stakes is an American Grade I Thoroughbred horse race held annually during the third week of August at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. Open to fillies and Mares age three and older, it is contested at a distance of one and one-eighth miles on dirt.
|Grade I race|
|Location||Saratoga Race Course|
Saratoga Springs, New York, United States
|Race type||Thoroughbred – Flat racing|
|Distance||1 1⁄8 miles|
|Qualification||Fillies & Mares, three-years-old & up|
|Purse||US$700,000 (since 2017)|
Since 1997, this race has been named for U.S. Racing Hall of Fame filly, Personal Ensign. Undefeated in racing, Personal Ensign was also a great broodmare. Her granddaughter Storm Flag Flying won the race in 2004.
Inaugurated at Jamaica Race Course in 1948 as the Firenze Handicap, it was named for the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame filly, Firenze. From 1986 through 1996 it was run as the John A. Morris Handicap, named to honor John Albert Morris, a prominent horseman who in 1889 built the Morris Park Racecourse in The Bronx, New York.
Since inception, the race has also been hosted by all three tracks operated by the New York Racing Association:
- Jamaica Race Course : 1948–1957
- Aqueduct Racetrack : 1960–1974, 1976–1985
- Belmont Park : 1975
- Saratoga Race Course : 1958–1959, 1986–present
The race has been contested at various distances:
- 1 1⁄16 miles : 1948–1950
- 1 mile : 1960–1961
- 1 3⁄8 miles : 1975
- 1 1⁄8 miles : 1976–1994, 2012–present
- 1 1⁄4 miles : 1995–2011
The Firenze Handicap was run on turf from 1972 to 1975 and run in two divisions in 1972 and 1974. The 1988 race was run for purse money only, no wagering, after being postponed for one day due to severe thunderstorms that forced cancellation of the remainder of the racing card at Saratoga Springs on Aug. 28, 1988.
- 2:02.07 – Shadow Cast (2005) (at the distance of 1 1⁄4 miles)
- 1:47.19 – Abel Tasman (2018) (at the current distance of 1 1⁄8 miles)
- 2 – Lie Low (1974, 1975)
- 2 – Politely (1967, 1968)
- 2 – Beautiful Pleasure (1999, 2000)
Most wins by a jockey:
- 8 – Ángel Cordero Jr. (1968, 1972 (2), 1976, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989)
Most wins by a trainer:
Most wins by an owner: