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Las Vegas, NV - Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York will play host to the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes on Saturday, August 22. Three year old fillies will be featured when they take to Saratoga's dirt track and race 1 1/4 miles searching for the winner's share of the $600,000 purse.
A small but talented field of seven have been confirmed for the Alabama Stakes - race 10 on Saratoga's Saturday schedule. Post time is 6:07 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all seven entries for this intriguing Grade 1 stakes - all of which will go 1 1/4 miles for the first time.
Curalina - Todd Pletcher trained filly has been very good in her five career starts - four wins and a second place finish. She debuted last July and finished second and has since reeled off four straight wins. Last time out she won the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks here July 26 after wins in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park June 6, an Allowance Optional Claiming score by 8 1/4 lengths May 1 at Churchill Downs and a maiden score in March. Curalina looks to keep the impressive roll going when she lines up in gate 2 with John Velazquez aboard.
Lovely Maria - Larry Jones trained filly has four wins and three second place finishes in nine career starts but enters off a career worst effort - a fifth as 1-5 favorite in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks July 11. Before that was a terrific win in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks which followed a victory in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland April 4, a good second in her graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds February 21 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score in wire-to-wire fashion January 25. Lovely Maria had been virtually untouchable in 2015 before last time out and will be in search of a strong bounce back when she leaves from post 3 with Kerwin Clark guiding her.
I'm a Chatterbox - multiple graded stakes winner and Larry Jones trained filly has four wins, a second and two third place finishes in eight career starts. She enters on the heels of a good second behind Curalina after being DQ'd for interference in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on this track July 26 after an OK third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 1 and a three race win streak- the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks March 28, over Lovely Maria in the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes February 21 and the minor Silverbulletday Stakes in January - all results at Fair Grounds. She has been impressive indeed and is expected to challenge again Sunday. Florent Geroux gets the call from gate 4 hoping to maintain the solid streak.
Include Betty - Tom Proctor trained filly has 11 career starts with four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes and enters this week having won four of her last eight races - the minor Suncoast Stakes January 31, a maiden score January 3 in her fourth career start, a terrific win in the Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park April 4 and a career best effort two starts back - a 3 3/4 length win in the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park June 27. Last time out was a respectable third behind Curalina and I'm a Chatterbox in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. She also had a second to Keen Pauline in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico May 15. Include Betty has placed in four if her last five starts overall, all graded stakes and has looked good this summer. She departs gate 6 looking for her third graded stakes win with Drayden Van Dyke aboard.
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Danette - finished third in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes in September and went on to a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. She has certainly been up and down since. Last time out was an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks here July 26 which followed a maiden score in her thirteenth career start, a second in a MSW here May 7, a fifth in a similar race April 25 and a fourth in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks in March. Danette has yet to record a stakes win in her career but does have a win, three runner-ups and two third place results in 14 career starts. She has placed in two of her last three starts overall albeit against lesser company and looks so-so ahead of this weekend. Junior Alvarado rides from the rail.
Sweetgrass - Ian Wilkes pupil has placed in six of seven career starts- two wins, a second and three third place finishes. She raced in stakes company for the first time May 15 and posted a career worst seventh in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico but has looked better in two starts since. Last time out was a second in the Grade 2 Indiana Oaks which followed a third in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks in June. She did have two straight wins earlier this year - an Allowance at Keeneland April 3 and a maiden score at Gulfstream March 1. Sweetgrass looks for her first stakes win Saturday and has been trending upward ahead of the weekend. Chris Landeros has the mount from the outside post 7.
Embellish the Lace - Anthony Dutrow trained filly has three career starts with two wins. Last time out was an ugly ninth in the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park June 26. It followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Pimlico June 4 and a maiden score at Parx in December - those two wins coming by a combined 23 1/2 lengths. She had looked good before her last outing and will be out to prove that her Mother Goose result was the exception rather than the norm - with Javier Castellano in the reins from post 5.
Race 10 on Saratoga Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:07 PM.
|1||Danette||J. Alvarado||J. Desormeaux|
|2||Curalina||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher|
|3||Lovely Maria||K. Clark||J. Jones|
|4||I'm a Chatterbox||F. Geroux||J. Jones|
|5||Embellish the Lace||J. Castellano||A. Dutrow|
|6||Include Betty||D. Van Dyke||T. Proctor|
|7||Sweetgrass||C. Landeros||I. Wilkes|
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