Three-year-old fillies take center stage this weekend.
Saratoga’s $500,000, Grade I TVG Alabama Stakes at 1¼ miles today attracted only six entrants, but among them are the 1-2 finishers in the Kentucky Oaks (Plum Pretty, St. John’s River) and a filly who defeated colts in Canada’s $1 million Queen’s Plate (Inglorious).
So it’s shaping up as an excellent field in a good race.
But the 9-5 favorite in the race for 3-year-old fillies is It’s Tricky, who has lost only once in six career starts, demolishing the top-class Turbulent Descent in Belmont’s Acorn and edging Plum Pretty in Saratoga’s Coaching Club American Oaks.
It’s Tricky, trained by Lexington native Kiaran McLaughlin for Godolphin Stable, could become the sixth filly to sweep the Acorn, the CCA Oaks and the Alabama.
The last Philly to sweep was Sky Beauty in 1993.
Plum Pretty, generally based in California with trainer Bob Baffert, has three works over Saratoga’s main track since her narrow CCA Oaks defeat.
“I think it’s kind of hard coming in right off the plane on this track,” said Baffert assistant Jim Barnes. “And she ran huge, she ran a winning race, she ran her eyes out.”
Inglorious is the only horse to have run 1¼ miles, doing so in the Queen’s Place.
One thing to note, though: she is 5 for 5 over Woodbine’s Polytrack, she has one second in two starts on dirt.