08/13/2013 2:25PM

Saratoga: Tannery will challenge males in Sword Dancer Invitational

Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
Tannery, winning the Sheepshead Bay Stakes, is being ambitiously spotted going 1 1/2 miles against males in the Sword Dancer Invitational.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Alan Goldberg won the most prestigious turf race for fillies and mares at Saratoga when Irish-bred Laughing captured the Grade 1 Diana Stakes on July 27.

Saturday, Goldberg will attempt to win the most prestigious turf race for males run at this meet when he sends out the filly Tannery in the Grade 1, $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap. Tannery will attempt to become just the second female to win the Sword Dancer, joining Anka Germania, who won it in 1988.

“It’s a mile and a half; I think she prefers that,” Goldberg said about the primary reason to run. “She’s doing good. It was either that or go out to the Beverly D. [Stakes at Arlington Park] for a Grade 1. Might as well stay home. If she runs bad, I can have her home that night.”

Tannery, a 4-year-old daughter of Dylan Thomas, won the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay at Belmont in May but then finished last in the Grade 2 New York Stakes, also at Belmont, on June 29. She was only beaten 3 3/4 lengths while ridden by Luis Saez.

“She was running on the inside and around the eighth pole, he didn’t know what the horse in front of [Tannery] was going to do,” Goldberg said. “He took a hold of her and she lost a little momentum.”

Tannery began her career in Ireland, where she faced males on three occasions, winning twice. The competition for the Sword Dancer includes Grade 1 winners Boisterous and Big Blue Kitten, plus Optimizer, London Lane, and Twilight Eclipse. Entries were to be taken on Wednesday.

Goldberg noted that Tannery will be getting eight pounds from Boisterous and Big Blue Kitten.

“If she could be graded-stakes placed in the Sword Dancer, that would be a pretty big deal,” Goldberg said.

Meanwhile, Goldberg said Laughing is doing great and on target for a start in the Grade 2, $250,000 Ballston Spa Stakes here on Aug. 24.

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Six likely for Alabama

Marathon Lady and Toasting are out while Tell a Great Story and Galloping Giraffe are in for Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama Stakes.

Six 3-year-old fillies are expected for the Alabama, led by Kentucky Oaks and Coaching Club American Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar and Black-Eyed Susan and Iowa Oaks winner Fiftyshadesofhay. Carnival Court and Montana Native also are expected to run.

Tell a Great Story, third in the Delaware Oaks last out, arrived in Saratoga early Tuesday morning after a van ride from Delaware Park. Trainer Ignacio Correas IV said the temperamental filly will get plenty of paddock schooling prior to the Alabama.

“She’s always on her toes and always sweating,” Correas said. “Hopefully, we can at least get her [behaving] reasonable.”

Correas said he felt Tell a Great Story had “a terrible trip” when third in the Delaware Oaks when she was forced extremely wide entering the first turn.

“Nobody’s fault,” Correas said. “We were in the nine-hole and everybody wanted to go.”

Correas said Jose Lezcano will ride Tell a Great Story.

Galloping Giraffe’s claim to fame is that her win in a $65,000 maiden-claiming race gave jockey John Velazquez his 5,000th career victory on June 14. The Todd Pletcher trainee came back with a second-place finish in a first-level allowance race at 1 1/8 miles here on July 31.

Trainer Steve Hobby said Tuesday that Marathon Lady, third in the Coaching Club American Oaks, would skip the Alabama and point for something easier in the fall, such as the Remington Oaks or Indiana Oaks.