07/27/2011 4:11PM

Saratoga: St. John’s River drills for Alabama

Barbara D. Livingston
St. John's River works five furlongs in 1:00.79 on Wednesday morning at Saratoga.

Trainer Andrew Leggio Jr. can only hope his second experience in Saratoga goes as well as his first. In 2005, Leggio brought the Louisiana-bred mare Happy Ticket here to win the Grade 1 Ballerina by 5 1/2 lengths.

Leggio was back in Saratoga on Wednesday morning, where he tried to watch his Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly St. John’s River work toward a start in the Grade 1, $500,000 Alabama Stakes here Aug. 20. With a plethora of horses working right after the break, Leggio said he had a hard time watching his filly breeze.

Under Robby Albarado, St. John’s River went five furlongs in 1:00.79, going in fractions of 12.57 seconds, 24.46, and 36.74 while galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.14.

“Robby said she felt really good and was traveling good,” Leggio said. “I was hoping to see her go a good steady pace, not fast, not slow, and get something out of the work, and I think we accomplished that this morning. She’s fit. These are just maintenance works.”

St. John’s River, a daughter of Include, has 2 wins and 3 seconds from six starts. After finishing second in the Fair Grounds Oaks and Kentucky Oaks, St. John’s River won the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks by a head.

St. John’s River has one thing in her favor as she prepares for the Alabama. She is stabled in the same barn and stall that housed Blind Luck, last year’s Alabama winner.