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2015 Alabama Stakes


Embellish the Lace gets a pat from Javier Castellano after winning the Alabama Stakes.
Date: 08/22/2015

One of the oldest stakes races at Saratoga is the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (G1), featuring the best 3-year-old fillies of the northeast going 1 1/4 miles over the main track. Conditions were excellent on Saturday afternoon with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80's. Acorn (G1) winner Curalina was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 7 off her win by disqualification in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1). In to challenge her included 3-1 second choice Lovely Maria, winner of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) but 5th in the Delaware Oaks (G3) last out, and 7-2 third choice Include Betty, winner of the Mother Goose (G1) but 3rd in the Coaching Club American Oaks.

Embellish the Lace leads down the stretch.

Jockey Javier Castellano sent 6-1 fifth choice Embellish the Lace to the lead first time by and she set easy fractions of 24.03, 48.38, 1:12.85, and 1:37.33 while stalked by Lovely Maria and Curalina. Entering the lane, Embellish the Lace began to clear the field, opening up a 3 length advantage at the 1/8 pole. 9-2 fourth choice I'm a Chatterbox, 4th early, put in a late rally but Embellish the Lace cruised to an easy 1 1/4 length win in 2:01.97 over the fast track. It was a long 3 1/2 lengths back to favorite Curalina third.

Previous winners of the Alabama

Pgm  Horse               Jockey         Win   Place  Show
 5   Embellish the Lace  Castellano   14.00    8.00  4.60
 4   I'm a Chatterbox    Geroux                5.90  3.50
 2   Curalina            Velazquez                   2.50

Winning Time:  2:01.97

$2 Exacta 5-4                74.50
$2 Trifecta 5-4-2           200.00
$2 Superfecta 5-4-2-1     1,100.00
Results Chart


Left: Embellish the Lace in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Tony Dutrow said, "I always hoped of winning a race like that, and when it comes, it's just so gratifying, so humbling, so magical. And special is a great word which sums up all that."

Right: Embellish the Lace heads back to the barn.

Left: Embellish the Lace in the paddock before the race.

Right: Embellish the Lace heads out for the post parade. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "I didn't expect her to be on the lead but nobody went. We put up good numbers all the way, and it paid off. I thought there was more speed in the race but nobody wanted to go. I tried to rate a little bit the first turn, but nobody wanted to take it, so I took it. I knew they were coming, but the way she turned for home, I had so much confidence. When I asked her a little bit she took off. The one thing about her is she goes all day. She passed the wire and she galloped out strong."

Left: Second place finisher I'm a Chatterbox heads out for the post parade. Trainer Larry Jones said, "They got loose on the lead. My filly kind of got put in tight and had to get back up on her feet at the start, so she started off a little farther back than we wanted. But she got a good trip. We were planning on being closer than we were."

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Curalina returns after the race. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "I thought she ran well. I think she was maybe showing fatigue from tough races in the Acorn and the Coaching Club. It's always hard to come off of two big efforts like that. I thought she came up a little empty in the lane but she kept fighting despite that. We'll look to freshen her up a bit for the fall."



Earlier in the card, a field of just 5 older horses (after 4 scratches) contested the $100,000 Troy Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. Jockey John Velazquez sent 9-5 second choice Something Extra to the lead immediately and he set fractions of 22.96 and 45.91 over the firm going while stalked by 5-1 third choice Summer Breezing. Enteringt he stretch, Something Extra continued to lead through 5/8 in 56.75 before tiring to finish 4th. 7-5 favorite Shore Runner, 4th early, got out for room and rallied late to win by 1/2 a length over 11-2 fourth choice Summation Time in 1:02.18. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Summer Breezing third.

Results Chart

Previous winners of the Troy Stakes

Left: Shore Runner in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Joe Sharp said, "He got a great trip; Kendrick (Carmouche) did a good job. The pace was pretty slow and the guys tried to make it as hard on him as they could. Rightfully so, he was the horse to beat. I had a lot of confidence in the horse, a lot of confidence in the jockey, and they combined to get the outcome. I'm just grateful to have a nice horse like that and good owners. He's one of those horses when they get good they get confident. He just continues to just grow and blossom. I just try not to get in his way. It's been a lot of fun."

Right: Shore Runner gets hosed off. Sharp added, "We're looking at a race next at Kentucky Downs as a possibility, but we'll see how he comes out of it and might just freshen him until the Breeders' Cup (Turf Sprint)."

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