The 2019 rendition of the Grade I, $600,000 Alabama Stakes promises to be a good one. The Saturday feature at Saratoga lured nine accomplished three-year-old fillies, including DUNBAR ROAD. The Alabama, to be contested at 1 1/4-miles, is the featured 10th race on an 11-race program. Post time for the Saratoga staple is 5:59 p.m. ET.
#1 DUNBAR ROAD (8-5, morning-line favorite) will be the top selection in the Alabama. She was last seen coasting home in Belmont’s Mother Goose Stakes on June 29. The ease of her victory, as was the case in her allowance score two starts back, suggests she has plenty more to give should she be asked for it. DUNBAR ROAD is by Quality Road out of a Bernardini filly, so the stretchout in distance today is not concerning. As long as Jose Ortiz prevents her from getting stuck in traffic from the rail post, DUNBAR ROAD should prove best in the Alabama.
#2 LADY APPLE (6-1) has won four of her last five starts, with a third-place effort in the Kentucky Oaks the only exception to her winning ways. The daughter of Curlin showed good courage to wear down ULELE late in the Iowa Oaks when last seen. LADY APPLE has a suitable pedigree for the Alabama distance and will have Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard once more.
#7 POINT OF HONOR (5-2) gave Guarana a run for her money in the CCA Oaks despite a wide trip last time out. Also by Curlin, POINT OF HONOR should be able to handle the extra furlong in this heat. The 2019 Black-Eyed Susan winner will once again have Javier Castellano in the irons. She’s a strong contender for second but isn’t offering any value on the morning-line.
#5 STREET BAND (10-1) has won three of her last five starts, including the Indiana Oaks last time out, and had legitimate excuses for finishing off the board in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes and Kentucky Oaks. The distance is a concern for the daughter of Istan, but trainer J. Larry Jones seldom ships horses without a shot in races like this. Sophie Doyle maintains the assignment.
#6 ULELE (8-1) will try to take them all the way in the Alabama. She was worn down by LADY APPLE in the Iowa Oaks going shorter though. However, the daughter of Candy Ride could last for a share under Joel Rosario.
The play: $1 trifecta 1/2,5,6,7/2,5,6,7, $1 trifecta 1/7/2,5,6 ($15)
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