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Embellish the Lace gets a pat from Javier Castellano after winning the Alabama Stakes.
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.
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
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."
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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