An excellent field of seven 3-year-old fillies will run 1 1/4 miles over the Saratoga main surface on Saturday in the $500,000 Alabama (G1).
The pace will be established by #3 Crystal Ball with #5 Swiss Skydiver tracking her throughout. The tempo is expected to be a solid one for a race at the distance.
#1 ENVOUTANTE — Talented daughter of Uncle Mo exits a third-place finish behind a pair of excellent fillies in the Ashland (G1) for McPeek. Kentucky-bred draws well on the rail to save ground throughout under Jose Ortiz, and she is a sure top-three candidate with another forward move in the Alabama.
#2 SPICE IS NICE — Pletcher pupil was a smart allowance heroine in a tune-up for her Grade 1 debut. Curlin filly has been impressive in three of her four lifetime performances, and she should thrive with the added ground on Saturday. Chestnut has the best chance to knock off the favorite beneath John Velazquez.
#3 CRYSTAL BALL — Speedster from the Baffert shedrow led at nearly every call when a head second in the recent Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) on the course. Lightly raced Malibu Moon filly had a trio of local morning drills in the interim, and she will be the one to catch as the expected pacesetter in the affair. Javier Castellano retains the mount.
#4 BONNY SOUTH — Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) queen enters off a fourth-place result in the Ashland at Keeneland. Munnings filly will travel 10 furlongs for the initial time, and she will need a forward move to challenge the top players in this field with Irad in the stirrups.
#5 SWISS SKYDIVER — Top sophomore filly had a three-race graded stakes win streak snapped when a superb second against the boys in the Blue Grass (G2) last time out. McPeek pupil is in a sensational form cycle and gives the impression of a filly who will handle the 1 1/4 miles well. Daredevil chestnut will have Tyler Gaffalione in the silks.
#6 HARVEY’S LIL GOIL — Versatile daughter of American Pharoah filly picked up a Grade 3 score on the grass when taking the Regret (G3) at Churchill Downs most recently. Bill Mott trainee has also endured success on the dirt, but she will need a lifetime-best showing to challenge late on Saturday. Junior Alvarado has the call.
#7 FIRE CORAL — Outsider from the Asmussen barn draws widest in the field, and she has also failed to hit the board in three straight while facing lesser. $420,000 Curlin filly would be a big surprise.
- $20 Win: #2 Spice is Nice ($20)
- $10 Exacta Box: 2-5 ($20)