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Aug 15, 2014

Stopchargingmaria takes on best in Alabama


Saratoga Springs, NY ( - Nine 3-year-old fillies, led by Coaching Club American Oaks winner Stopchargingmaria, have been entered for Saturday's 1 1/4-mile, $600,000 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

Stopchargingmaria, trained by Todd Pletcher for Repole Stable, will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez from post 8 with the filly's regular rider Javier Castellano spending Saturday at Arlington Park. Earlier this year, the filly and Velazquez teamed up but could do not better than fifth in Gulfstream Park's Davona Dale.

Stopchargingmaria comes into the Alabama off consecutive wins in the Black- Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico and Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga. The filly has banked $1,054,000 with five wins in nine lifetime starts.

"It seems like she's in super form at the moment. She's really just had a great summer and just seems like she's getting better all the time," Pletcher said.

Pletcher won the Alabama for the first time last year when Castellano guided Princess of Sylmar to victory.

Coaching Club American Oaks runner-up Unbridled Forever has drawn the rail with Rosie Napravnik riding the filly for the first time. Unbridled Forever is trained by Dallas Stewart for Charles Fipke.

The filly is looking for her first win since claiming the Silverbulletday on Jan. 18 at Fair Grounds to begin her season. She followed with third-place finishes in the Fair Grounds Oaks, Kentucky Oaks and Acorn.

Unbridled Forever has won just two of seven career starts for $368,830.

The first two under the wire in the Delaware Oaks, Fortune Pearl and Joint Return, have also drawn into the Alabama. Fortune Pearl, ridden by Trevor McCarthy, will start from post 6 and Joint Return, with Kendrick Carmouche, will break from post 4.

Trained by Graham Motion, Fortune Pearl defeated 8-5 favorite Joint Return by two lengths in the Delaware Oaks on July 5. The filly was third in the Black- Eyed Susan Stakes after winning a 1 1/16-mile allowance race by 2 1/4 lengths at Pimlico on May 2.

Owned by Zanim R. Meahjohn, Fortune Pearl has three wins from seven career starts for $272,547.

Joint Return, trained by John Servis for Main Line Racing Stables, won her first two starts, including the Busher Stakes, this year followed by a fifth in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. The 3-year-old won the Calder Oaks before a fourth in the Black-Eyed Susan. Coming into the Del Oaks she won Delaware Park's Our Mims Stakes.

Joint Return has earned $288,154 with five wins in nine lifetime starts. .

Here is the field from the rail out for the Alabama: Unbridled Forever, Rosie Napravnik; Miss Besilu, Jose Lezcano; America, Irad Ortiz Jr.; Joint Return, Kendrick Carmouche; Got Lucky, Jose Ortiz; Fortune Pearl, Trevor McCarthy; Catch My Drift, Joe Bravo; Stopchargingmaria, John Velazquez and Size, Junior Alvarado.

Post time for the Alabama will be approximately 5:55 p.m. ET.

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