The Alabama is the main feature on Saratoga’s Saturday card, but it shares the program with the 35th running of the Lake Placid Stakes (G2). That $300,000 contest is also for sophomore fillies and is scheduled for 1 1/8 miles on the turf.
Seven were entered in the Lake Placid, including DADDY IS A LEGEND. The Scat Daddy filly captured the Lake George Stakes (G3) last out by two lengths, earning a career- and field-best 102 BRIS Speed rating, and is looking to complete the double in this spot. Trainer George Weaver has tabbed Manny Franco to stay aboard the dark bay lass, who also shows a win in the Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3) from her juvenile campaign and a third in the Edgewood Stakes (G3) sandwiched between fourths in the Appalachian Stakes (G2) and Wonder Again Stakes (G3).
“She won the Lake George on firm turf, so if it was up to me, I’d like it firm, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be,” Weaver said. “When push comes to shove, I don’t know if it’s her best surface, but we’re here now and committed, so she’ll just have to deal with it.
“It’ll be a nice field of fillies; none of these races come up easy, but we’re happy with the way she’s training going into it,” he added. “She ran well in the Wonder Again but she still got beat by a length and a half. I think she would prefer to have some cover, but you can’t always write your own race. I think she belongs in this race and hopefully we trained her well enough that she can get the distance and get the win.”
Lining up against Daddy is a Legend are RUSHING FALL and THEWAYIAM. The former capped off a perfect two-year-old campaign by taking the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). Rushing Fall returned April 8 to add Keeneland’s Appalachian to her resume and just suffered her first career loss when second by a neck in the Edgewood at Churchill Downs. Thewayiam also ran in the Appalachian, beginning a three-race case of seconditis that continued in the Penn Oaks and Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) in her past pair.
“I think she’s been remarkable,” trainer Graham Motion said of Thewayiam. “She just seems like she handles whatever you put in front of her and she’s so tough. In the mornings, she’s very straightforward. She’s just a very tough competitor.”
Thewayiam keeps John Velazquez in the irons Saturday while regular rider Javier Castellano has piloting duties on the Chad Brown-trained Rushing Fall.
SIGNIFICANT FORM and CAPLA TEMPTRESS also ran in the Belmont Oaks Invitational, finishing fourth and seventh, respectively. The former, a gray daughter of Creative Cause, goes for Brown and filled the second spot in the Wonder Again as well as the fourth position in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Regular jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call. Capla Temptress was returning to the United States for the Belmont Oaks after running fourth by a half-length in the French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-G1). Winner of the Natalma Stakes (Can-G1) last year, the Bill Mott trainee gets jockey Julien Leparoux aboard for the first time.
ANDINA DEL SUR was fourth in the Lake George last out and sixth in the Wonder Again prior to that. The Tom Albertrani charge did capture the Florida Oaks (G3) in March by a head and will get Jose Ortiz holding the reins this time around.
“She always looks like she gallops out well, so I don’t think extra distance hurts her,” Albertrani said. “I think she was subject to a slow pace in her last couple of races. They kind of sprinted away from her and she stayed a little one-paced at the end. So, hopefully, going a little longer, she’ll have a little extra. She ran a good race (in the Lake George) and she carried top weight that day.”
Completing the Lake Placid field is Grade 3 scorer GO NONI GO, who is trained by Mike Maker. The Get Stormy filly is the most experienced runner in this group with 12 career starts over turf, dirt and synthetic tracks. Mike Smith was aboard when the dark bay miss ran second in the Regret Stakes (G3) two back and takes back the mount here.