The Grade I, $600,000 Alabama Stakes is the feature race at Saratoga this Saturday. Eight fillies and mares will test their mettle at 1 1/4-miles over the main track. The field is led by multiple graded stakes winner MIDNIGHT BISOU and up-and-comer TALK VEUVE TO ME. Post time for the Alabama, Race 9 on a 10-race card, is 5:40 p.m. EST. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#8 TALK VEUVE TO ME (5-2), seeking her first Grade I victory in the Alabama, has never missed the exacta in five starts (three at the graded level). After a runaway maiden score, she was second in the Eight Belles before placing again in the Acorn behind Monomoy Girl. Last time out, TALK VEUVE TO ME obliterated the field in the Indiana Oaks. She’s never been further than 1 1/16th-miles and her sire (Violence) hasn’t proven to be a great distance influence yet, but there’s little to suggest she won’t get the distance based on her running lines. Julien Leparoux maintains the assignment.
#3 MIDNIGHT BISOU (7-5, morning-line favorite) is the deserving favorite even off a convincing defeat to Monomoy Girl in the CCA Oaks. Her résumé is impressive but she has yet to win beyond 1 1/16th-miles. Also, MIDNIGHT BISOU’s pedigree implies she may not want to go this far. Despite her obvious ability, MIDNIGHT BISOU is a risky win proposition in the Alabama. Mike Smith ships in for the mount.
#7 COACH ROCKS (10-1) has experienced a modicum of success this year (6-2-2-0), winning the Gulfstream Park Oaks and placing in the Black-Eyed Susan and Delaware Oaks. She may not be fast enough to win this race, but the versatile daughter of Oxbow should be fine going 1 1/4-miles. COACH ROCKS will be paired up with Luis Saez once more.
#4 SHE’S A JULIE (9-2) steps up off an eye-catching score in the Iowa Oaks. She earned a fast figure but will be tested for class here. Ricardo Santana Jr. has the call.
The play: $1 trifecta 8/3,4,7/3,4,7, $1 trifecta 3,8/3,8/4,7 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Javier Castellano will be on some of the shortest-priced horses on Saturday’s program at Saratoga. Assuming rain washes off Race 2, MTO Standard Deviation should get him on the board. Forge (5-2) follows in Race 3, then comes favored Ahead of Plan (5-2) in Race 4. Later on, Castellano has the call on Rushing Fall (9-5) in the Lake Placid. Though he doesn’t have a mount in the Alabama, Castellano look like a ‘must’ on Saturday.
Julien Leparoux is an affordable option to round out the stable. He rides in four races, including the Alabama (TALK VEUVE TO ME). His other mounts look like live longshots at no higher than 8-1.
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