08/09/2012 4:49PM

Saratoga: Via Villagio coming for Alabama

Benoit & Associates
Via Villaggio, with Martin Pedroza riding, wins the Railbird at Betfair Hollywood Park.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A week before he sends out Nonios in the Travers, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will be represented in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes by Via Villaggio, winner of the Grade 3 Railbird Stakes in May who most recently finished second to Grace Hall in the Delaware Oaks in her first start on dirt.

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“I think she wants to run long, I think she can run long, and I thought she ran a very good race against one of the best fillies in the country,” Hollendorfer said. “I thought we would do it and see if she could do better going the mile and a quarter.”

Hollendorfer won the 2010 Alabama with Blind Luck, coming off a win in the Delaware Oaks. Nakatani will ride Via Villagio in the Alabama.

Fort Loudon breezes toward King’s Bishop

While Nick Zito is uncertain about whether he will have a horse in the Travers, he will be represented in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop on the undercard with Fort Loudon. On Thursday, Fort Loudon breezed four furlongs in 49.25 seconds in company with the unstarted 2-year-old Armed USA.

It was Fort Loudon’s first breeze since he finished fifth in the Amsterdam Stakes here on July 29.

“He came out of it good, he carried highweight of 123 pounds and was running back only three weeks from his last race,” Zito said of the Amsterdam. “He didn’t get the best of trips. He ran credible in what was a very fast race. We’ll try them again.”

Test an option for My Miss Aurelia

Champion filly My Miss Aurelia came out of her three-length victory in Wednesday’s Mandy’s Gold Stakes “fabulous,” trainer Steve Asmussen said, but her connections were not yet sure where she will run next.

One potential option is the Grade 1 Test on Travers Day, if she bounces back quickly. The Test is run at seven furlongs at Saratoga, where My Miss Aurelia is now 3 for 3.

“We’re very pleased with her condition this morning,” Asmussen said. “All options are open. Her next race is pending how she trains.”

My Miss Aurelia overcame an awkward start and a lugging-in finish to win the Mandy’s Gold, running 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.90 and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 91.

Asmussen said he was very pleased with how My Miss Aurelia relaxed after the tardy start, in which she slipped from behind.

“She didn’t compound the problem by being aggressive and taking off with him,” Asmussen said. “It looked like she settled for him.”

Claiming craze

Through the first 17 days of the meet, there have been 100 horses that have been claimed for a total of $2,805,000. Last year, for the entire meet, there were 122 horses claimed for $3,235,000.

Leading the way in the claim box is David Jacobson with 11. Mike Maker has claimed 10 horses.

In Sunday’s last race, seven of the 13 horses that ran were claimed.