The $600,000 Alabama (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday has attracted perhaps the deepest field of three-year-old fillies since the Kentucky Oaks (G1), except division leader Pretty Mischievous, who is presently sticking to races much shorter than the Alabama’s 1 1/4 miles.
The distance is sure to suit fellow Godolphin homebred Wet Paint, who will be looking for her fifth stakes win of the year in the Alabama. Dominating at Oaklawn in the lead up to the Kentucky Oaks, in which she finished fourth, Wet Paint snapped a two-race losing skid earlier in the Saratoga meet when taking the nine-furlong Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) by a neck over Sacred Wish.
“We didn’t know if she would get there, but we knew she would try hard. Even in races with not enough pace, she still seems to run her best race,” said Michael Banahan, Director of Bloodstock for Godolphin. “Her running style and the way she finishes her races makes you think she can stretch out. This is maybe the one and only time these fillies have to go this far, and we just hope that there’s a little bit of pace to run at.”
Distance shouldn’t be an issue for Taxed, who won the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) over nine furlongs at Pimlico convincingly two back, but found the 1 1/16-mile Indiana Oaks (G3) on the short side when finishing 1 1/4 lengths second to Defining Purpose, who was winning for the first time since her 20-1 upset of the Ashland (G1) in April. Neither filly, however, were significant threats to Wet Paint at Oaklawn.
Gambling Girl, a neck second to Pretty Mischievous in the Kentucky Oaks, was more than eight lengths adrift of Wet Paint and Sacred Wish in the Coaching Club American Oaks. Also joining her from the Todd Pletcher stable is last year’s Frizette (G1) heroine Chocolate Gelato, fourth in the six-furlong Jersey Girl S. on June 11 in her only outing this year, and the regally-bred Julia Shining, the Demoiselle (G2) winner sidelined after finishing a close third in the Ashland.
Trainer Chad Brown has entered Randomized, who captured the restricted Wilton S. over a mile earlier in the meet but was overmatched in the Acorn (G1) two back. She is joined by stablemate Fireline, who disappointed at odds-on in her stakes debut in the Delaware Oaks (G3). The outsider in the Alabama field of 10 is Sabra Tuff.
Three-year-old fillies will also be in action Saturday in the $200,000 Lake Placid (G2) over 1 1/16 miles on the turf, and a quartet of Chad Brown trainees make up half of the main body of the field.
That group includes Wonder Again (G2) heroine Prerequisite, a close second in the Belmont Oaks (G1) after leading most of the way; Aspray, the Hilltop S. winner who suffered her first loss when fourth in the Belmont Oaks; and the recent Lake George (G3) one-two Surge Capacity and Tax Implications.
Edgewood (G2) winner Heavenly Sunday and stakes newcomer Gloria’s Princess both bring additional speed to the field, while Junipermarshmallow lands in a tough spot in her first start since taking the Wait a While S. at Gulfstream on Dec. 10.