08/28/2005 11:00PM

Alinghi wins American debut

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Alinghi draws clear under Edgar Prado to score a 1 1/4-length win in Monday's Ballston Spa BC Handicap.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Alinghi, a multiple Group 1 winner in Australia, did not disappoint in her North American debut Monday.

Alinghi, sent off as the 9-10 favorite in an 11-horse field, won the Grade 3 for fillies and mares by 1 1/4 lengths over a turf course labeled good. She covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.30 before a crowd of 12,376. Que Puntual, second in the Grade 1 Diana in her last start, was second, and Stupendous Miss finished a neck back in third. Alinghi paid $3.80 to win and was part of a $23.80 exacta.

Alinghi, away from the races since late March, was making her first start outside Australia and first start for trainer Bobby Frankel. She received a patient ride from jockey Edgar Prado, who sat nearly 10 lengths off the quick early pace set by Lentil and La Reina. Prado let Alinghi loose heading into the final turn, and moved four wide to collar Que Puntual at the eighth pole. She drew clear in the final sixteenth under a strong drive from Prado.

"I thought Edgar rode a beautiful race," Frankel said. "She's got a tremendous turn of foot."

Although Alinghi was making her first start at over one mile and first start with Lasix, she lived up to her billing. An Australian-bred 4-year-old, Alinghi was privately purchased by owners Alan Jones, John Leaver, and John Messara for a reported $2.2 million during the spring and was then sent to Frankel's barn.

In Australia, Alinghi earned $2.6 million. She won two Group 1 races this year - the Newmarket Handicap against males and the Robert Sangster against fillies. Because she is not Breeders' Cup-nominated, she was ineligible for the $100,000 Breeders' Cup supplement to the purse Monday. The total purse of the race was $216,300, and she earned $69,780.