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Aug 27, 2010

Blind Luck captures Alabama Stakes


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - The two leading three-year-old fillies in training met Saturday in Saratoga's $500,000 Alabama Stakes and it was Blind Luck proving the better of the two in the 1 1/4-mile race.

Devil May Care, ridden by John Velazquez, was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the six-horse field. Blind Luck, with Joel Rosario aboard, was the 9-5 second choice.

Devil May Care won Saratoga's Coaching Club American Oaks and Blind Luck was coming off a nose win in the Delaware Oaks.

The pace in the Alabama was set by Acting Happy with Tizahit right behind. Running in third was Connie and Michael followed by Havre de Grace, Devil May Care and Blind Luck.

The fillies maintained their positions up the backstretch and into the far turn. Around the final turn Devil May Care began her move on the outside, quickly joining the leaders as Blind Luck began to rally from last.

Coming into the stretch Acting Happy and Havre de Grace were to the inside, with Devil May Care on the outside. Blind Luck was four wide at the top of the stretch.

Down the stretch the battle was between Blind Luck, Havre de Grace and Acting Happy. Havre de Grace, ridden by Jeremy Rose, was beaten in the Delaware Oaks by the smallest of margins.

Blind Luck, trained by co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer, once again took the lead just yards from the wire and was able to record a neck victory over Havre de Grace with Acting Happy finishing third.

Todd Pletcher's Devil May Care had nothing down the stretch and finished fourth. Rounding out the order finish was Tizahit and Connie and Michael.

The final time for the Alabama on a fast track was 2:03.89.

Blind Luck returned $5.60, $3.80 and $3.60. Havre de Grace paid $6.00 and $5.90, while Acting Happy paid $9.00 to show.

Blind Luck, who is ranked seventh in the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll, notched her fifth win of the year in seven starts, and the ninth in 13 career races. The $300,000 first-place check brings her 2010 earnings to more than $1.1 million and her career winnings are now better than $1.8 million.

Hollendorfer has already indicated that he plans to bring back the filly for her four-year-old season.

"Next year we might consider putting her on turf if we feel it warrants that," the trainer said this week.

In June she was second to Switch in the Hollywood Oaks, which came after her furious rally to win the Kentucky Oaks. Blind Luck won the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park in April as the 1-2 favorite. In February the filly won the Las Virgenes at Santa Anita as the 1-5 favorite, but failed at 1-2 to Crisp in the Santa Anita Oaks in March when she finished third.

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