A field of nine three-year-olds fillies will line up to battle in the $600,000 Alabama (G1) at Saratoga, the highlight of an outstanding 11-race card on Saturday.
First run in 1872, the Alabama has been won by some top notch fillies in recent years including Elate, Songbird, Royal Delta and Blind Luck. Last year’s winner was the Ken McPeek trained Eskimo Kisses, ridden by Jose Ortiz who also rode the 2017 winner Elate.
The Chad Brown trained Dunbar Road is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The filly made a good late rally to win the Mother Goose (G2) at Belmont Park going 1 1/16 miles in her last outing, her third win in four career starts.
The George Weaver trained Point of Honor is the 5-2 second choice. She is coming off a runner up finish in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga on July 21 behind the highly regarded Guarana.
“She’s had a good four weeks and she’s been training good. We’re happy with her,” Weaver said. “She’s not a difficult keep. She’s remained happy all year. She likes it here, but she liked it in Florida and liked it in Kentucky [too].”
Lady Apple (6-1) is coming off a victory in the Iowa Oaks (G3) for trainer Steve Asmussen. She was third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs in her only try in Grade 1 company.
The $200,000 Lake Placid (G2) and the $100,000 Smart N Fancy are the co-features on the Spa card.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Saturday’s feature race of the day:
Saratoga Race 10 The Alabama G1 (Post time 5:59 ET)
#2 Lady Apple 6-1
#1 Dunbar Road 8-5
#7 Point of Honor 5-2
#6 Ulele 8-1
The Steve Asmussen trainee tracked the early pacesetter Ulele, took over in the stretch and drew clear late to win the Iowa Oaks (G3) last out off a two-month break. The Asmussen trainee earned a career top speed fig after running third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) two back. Her first graded stakes win came three back winning the Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn Park. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and should be forwardly placed. Pedigree wise she should be able to handle the 1 1/4-mile distance. She is by Curlin out of a stakes placed Clever Trick mare who has dropped two other stakes winners. Decent value if this gal goes off near her 6-1 morning line.
This filly has won three of her four career starts, taking the Mother Goose (G2) last out at Belmont Park going 1 1/16 miles. The filly stalked the early pace and drew clear late to win by 2 1/2 lengths. The filly makes her third start of her current form cycle and looks as if she will have no problem handling the extra ground. She is by Quality Road out of a Bernardini mare. Brown has never won the Alabama but appears to have a good shot with this filly.
Point of Honor
She stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at nine furlongs, unable to catch a talented and undefeated Guarana who took the field gate to wire. She finished fourth in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and then picked up her first graded stakes win in the Black Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico. She can handle the distance, by Curlin out of a Bernardini mare that has dropped two other winners including stakes winner Velvet Mood ($92,453).
WIN: #2 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,6,7
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,6,7 / 1,2,5,6,7