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Aug 23, 2013



As always at Saratoga the quality of the races is high, stakes, allowances, two year olds etc. On August 17th, they hosted two Grade I Stakes races when they hosted the Sword Dancer and the Alabama.

               In the Grade I Sword Dancer, a race for three year olds and upward run over the turf at 1 and ½ miles and it carried a purse of $600,000. There was 11 betting entrants and 12 total horses as there was an entry. The favorite in the race was Boisterous who was coming off two wins in a row most recently in the Grade I Man O’ War at Belmont in the middle of July. When the gates opened, Stormy Lord, the part of the entry that was entered in the race to ensure a pace was sent to the lead under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. He lead through reasonable fractions of 24, 49:4, 1;14:1 while being tracked by Tahoe Lake with third choice Twilight Eclipse sitting in behind those leaders on the rail. As they moved down the backstretch the final time and moved towards the far turn, London Lane, a 40-1 longshot had taken a slight lead but was quickly challenged by Twilight Eclipse. He moved to the lead in the lane under jockey Javier Castellano. Big Blue Kitten, the other part of the entry and the better half was weaving his way through to find a hole in the lane under jockey Joe Bravo, he was within a few lengths in mid-stretch and then really kicked it in to roll on by the leader for the win by a length. Twilight Eclipse held on for an clear second and troubled Nutello who was making his first start in this country checked in third, a head in front of the filly Tannery who flew home. The winner was trained by Chad Brown and that was his 10th win in 17 starts. The winner was owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who had a huge weekend in their own right scoring a victory by D’Q in the Arlington Million with Real Solution (also trained by Chad Brown).  They also won the Grade I Secretariat with Admiral Kitten on the same day at Arlington Park. Three Grade I winners in one day and all by the Ramsey’s stallion, Kitten’s Joy.

               The Grade I Alabama was up next with a field of five going postward when Tell A Great Story was scratched the morning of the race. The Alabama is for three year old fillies, run over 1 and ¼ miles with a purse of $600,000. When the gates opened Carnival Court, a half-sister to Royal Delta who was coming off two wins in a row and trying stakes company for the first time was sent right to the lead. She lead through early fractions of 23:4, 48, 1:12:3 while being tracked by Montana Native and second choice, Fiftyshadesofhay. As they moved into the turn, those three horses were stacked across the track with the 1-2 favorite, Princess Of Sylmar right in behind the leaders. In the middle of the turn, Princess Of Sylmar, moved outside, made a quick move to the leaders, took over and drew away by about four lengths. She was still strong to the wire and score by 2 ½ lengths for trainer Todd Pletcher for owners King of Prussia Stable. The early leaders were left in her wake and Fiftyshadesofhay dug in nicely to finish a clear second over Carnival Court who was seven lengths clear of Galloping Giraffe who checked in fourth over Montana Native who tired to finish fifth and last. That win puts Princess Of Sylmar record for the year at 5 wins from six starts with one second place finish. She now has three Grade I victories on the year including the Grade I Kentucky Oaks back on May 3rd, the day before the Kentucky Derby. That win should have sewn up the three year old filly title for Princess Of Sylmar unless a three year old filly would go on and win the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita in a few months. This Pennsylvania bred filly by Majestic Warrior moved well over the million dollar mark in earnings with that win and it would be interesting to see how she fares against older fillies and mares if she gets a chance.


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