The Grade I, $500,000 Alabama Stakes will put three-year-old fillies to the test at Saratoga. A field of seven, led by multiple graded stakes winner #5 SWISS SKYDIVER, will go a demanding 1 1/4 miles in this heat. Post time for the Alabama, Race 9 of 11 on the day at “The Spa,” is 5:43 p.m. ET.
#5 SWISS SKYDIVER (EVEN, morning-line favorite) was a valiant second behind Art Collector when she ran against the boys in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland last time out. Prior to that she won three straight graded stakes against her peers, all by wide margins. SWISS SKYDIVER is training well for this for Ken McPeek, who names Tyler Gaffalione to ride. On class and speed figures, this filly looks to be too much for this group. The only question mark might be the 10-furlong distance of the Alabama, but the same can be said for everyone in this field.
#3 CRYSTAL BALL (9-2) jumped up from maiden company to the Grade I CCA Oaks last time out and nearly won. She was only a neck behind the well-regarded Paris Lights. CRYSTAL BALL is fast enough to compete with these despite running just three times to date. She’ll once again have trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Javier Castellano in her corner.
#6 HARVEY’S LIL GOIL (10-1) bounced back from a dismal showing in the Grade III Fantasy at Oaklawn with a win on turf in the Grade III Regret at Churchill last time out. But she’s run well on dirt before, including her runaway Busanda score at Aqueduct earlier this year. HARVEY’S LIL GOIL could offer value underneath with Junior Alvarado in the irons for Bill Mott.
The play: $8 exacta 5/3, $2 exacta 5/6 ($10)
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