08/07/2013 2:07PM

Saratoga: Flashy American using Alada Stakes to duck big girls


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Ken McPeek said that Friday’s $100,000 Alada Stakes at Saratoga seems like a perfect alternative for anybody seeking to avoid Royal Delta and Authenticity later this month in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign. Which is why he has chosen the 1 1/8-mile overnight stakes for Flashy American, despite the fact she comes off a career-best effort when second behind Authenticity in the Grade 3 Shuvee earlier in the meet.

Flashy American earned a 95 Beyer Speed Figure in the Shuvee. The setback snapped a modest two-race win streak for Flashy American, which included a convincing victory in the Iowa Distaff four weeks earlier.

“It looks like everybody coming out of the Shuvee who didn’t want to run against Royal Delta in the Personal Ensign went in this race,” said McPeek. “I just felt like running her in a Grade 1 in her next start probably wasn’t a good idea. She’s a solid filly, the timing is good, and it looks like a perfect spot for her. As long as I didn’t run her on the turf or the Polytrack or sprint her she wins. So she’s overcome me, and as long as I run her two turns on the dirt she’s run fantastic.”

Flashy American will be joined in the Alada by Sea Island and Moon Philly, who finished third and fourth in the Shuvee.

Sea Island set the pace in the Shuvee before being overtaken by Authenticity turning for home. She weakened to finish third, another 2 1/4 lengths behind Flashy American. Sea Island is Grade 1-placed, having finished second behind Dance Card in the Gazelle in her 3-year-old finale.

Moon Philly will try to snap a three-race losing streak in the Alada after having won a pair of overnight stakes at Laurel earlier in the year. She raced forwardly while trapped wide throughout in the Shuvee, gradually weakening to finish nearly six lengths behind Authenticity.

Trainer Michael Matz also decided it would be wise to duck Royal Delta in the Personal Ensign with And Why Not, who finished a distant third behind the two-time Eclipse Award winner in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap in her last start. And Why Not has been narrowly beaten twice in graded stakes company, missing by less than a length to On Fire Baby when second in the Grade 2 Pocahontas at 2 and by a neck when runner-up behind Bryan’s Jewel in the Grade 3 Obeah at Delaware Park in June.

Lady Cohiba has not started since finishing fourth, a little more than a length behind Sea Island, in the 2012 Gazelle, but has been training steadily for her return for trainer Christophe Clement.

Street Secret has won two of her three starts since coming to the U.S. and joining trainer Chad Brown’s barn earlier this year, including her main-track debut in the Open Mind overnight stakes at Belmont Park in June.

Sure Route, claimed for $100,000 out of her last start by trainer Danny Gargan, and the Grade 1-placed Cash for Clunkers complete the field.