08/16/2014 11:43AM

Crist: Alabama analysis


At first glance, the field for Saturday’s Alabama Stakes appears to be a weak one at the mercy of Stopchargingmaria.

After repeated glances, it still looks that way.

Stopchargingmaria is the lone Grade 1 winner in a field of nine that drew only two other graded stakes winners of any kind – the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks winner Fortune Pearl and the Grad 3 Iowa Oaks winner Size. Those are the lone stakes victories by those two fillies, whereas Stopchargingmaria has four such triumphs – the Grade 3 Tempted and Grade 2 Demoiselle last year, and the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan and Grade 1 CCA Oaks this year. On accomplishment, she towers over the field, and she’s coming off a five-length, career-topping win over the Saratoga track in the CCA Oaks, defeating Unbridled Forever – the second choice on today’s morning line at 4-1. Unbridled Forever had no excuse in the CCA Oaks, so the fact that she’s second choice today speaks to the skimpiness of the opposition.

Size might be the actual second choice by post time and at least is a fresh face. She is already 3 for 4 and clearly has room to keep improving. The main concern with her is getting the distance: Her first three starts were at six furlongs, and while she stretched out to 1 1/16 miles winning the Iowa Oaks, that race did come over a sloppy track that might have helped the daughter of First Samurai.

One interesting possibility is Got Lucky, who like the favorite is trained by Todd Plether. The barnmates ran 1-2 just a neck apart in the Demoiselle last fall. Got Lucky never has raced at less than a mile, and her connections say they have been pointing for this 10-furlong race all year. She was not overwhelming returning from a layoff to win a prep for today’s race, but on the theory that it was a prep in which she was not primed for a top effort, she might move forward today.

rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Wow that looked like a 50k claiming race. Maybe it's time to cut the distance to 1 1/8
michaelcancilla More than 1 year ago
beyer 82....where are are the fast 3 yr old fillies
Steve Wilson More than 1 year ago
Does anyone feel the rail was bad Saturday? It's the only way I can rationalize Rosie breaking from the rail, then rallying 6-wide coming home. Not going to say her horse would have won, but she didn't do her mount any favors.
Lefty More than 1 year ago
I thought Carmouche, Servis, and Joint Return were really great today and just missed. That was good to see. Very good race, maybe the best of the day and clean too. I thought Shuggy Baby's Horse Security Risk was breached today, meaning bumped in the 4th today and the result did not show how well it had run till that point. Anyway, we need more races like the Alabama to happen.
John More than 1 year ago
Love Size here. I believe she was scheduled in last weekend's Monmouth Oaks, but scratched. Any reason given? other than pointing to this one? [She would have been 4-5 there, but it's a $105k G3 vs. today's $500k G1. -SC]
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
Hard to bet against the obvious favorite but we must always remember that strange things often occur at Saratoga in these high stakes races. I always approach such a race with a "what if" attitude. Got Lucky may be the one. Ray
Van Cushny More than 1 year ago
Stopchargingmaria is suspect going 10 furlongs - the Tale of the Cat and the Montbrook in her pedigree will start to show up around the 3/16ths pole. Size is a new shooter and is bred to get the distance.