The prestigious Grade 1 Alabama Stakes counts names like Royal Delta, Blind Luck, Silverbulletday and Go For Wand among its winners. The 1 ¼ miles dirt race at Saratoga carries a purse of $600k. Each of this year’s seven entrants has a realistic chance to win.
#1 Sea Island (Pulpit x Resort by Pleasant Colony) 12-1: It’s surprising that Shug McGaughey took so long to figure this filly out. She has a beautiful pedigree that screams for two turn racing and that fact was verified last out when she won by 3 ½ lengths over four-year-old St. John’s River. She was nearly 16-1 that day and will be a good price once again. Backers have the advantage of knowing she will stay the trip, which is something you can’t say for everyone else in this spot. Joel Rosario gets the call to ride.
#2 Zo Impressive (Hard Spun x Zoftig by Cozzene) 5-1: This lass became a Grade 1 winner two races back when she annexed the Mother Goose Stakes, rallying from two lengths behind in third to grab the ¾ length win. She defeated the likes of Believe You Can, Disposablepleasure and Contested. After that race she picked up the pieces to be second in the Grade 1 CCA Oaks. She is a bit prone to wide trips and trouble and will need to avoid all of that to win in this spot.
#3 Grace Hall (Empire Maker x Season’s Greetings by Ezzoud) 7-5: This is a very good filly, but she does not deserve to be such a short price. This will be the best field she has ever faced. Does that mean she can’t win? Of course not, she’s very fast; but at 7-5 you can have her. That win last out in the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks isn’t as sharp as it looks and she will not have such an easy time passing horses here at Saratoga.
#4 Uptown Bertie (More Than Ready x De Bertie by De Niro) 20-1: Corey Lanerie dominated the Churchill Downs spring meet and this filly is one of many he got to ride along the way. He’s making the trip up to ride, but unfortunately for him, he finds himself on a filly that is 1 or 2 pegs below the best in the race. Throw in the fact that her odds of securing the 1 ¼ miles distance is shaky and the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks winner is a risky play. Steve Margolis is the trainer.
#6 Questing (Hard Spun x Chercheuse by Seeking The Gold) 5-2: The up and coming jockey Irad Ortiz secured his first ever Grade 1 victory when he guided this filly to a wire to wire score in the CCA Oaks last out. The bay lass really turned the corner when the connections decided to get her back on a dirt surface. She might find herself on a lonely lead once again and that would make her very dangerous.
#7 In Lingerie (Empire Maker x Cat Chat by Storm Cat) 6-1: Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez at 6-1? Many will be sold on that alone. Backers can be assured they are playing a good filly. She dominated the competition to win Turfway Park’s Grade 3 Bourbonette Stakes. After that she was a relatively easy winner in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, despite a poor trip. When last seen she tired to be a well beaten third in the CCA Oaks, but she was too far back and might have needed a race.