Swiss Skydiver, the accomplished even-money favorite to win today’s storied Alabama Stakes at Saratoga, is a clear and deserving favorite.
However, three questions cloud that observation: Is this the coveted target, or a 1-1/4 mile prep for a 1-1/8 Kentucky Oaks three weeks from now? Is trainer Ken McPeek thinking about the daunting presence of Gamine in Louisville, SEP 4?
Further, we’re talking about a three year old filly that has logged close to 10,000 miles this year via land and air: Will it take a physical toll today? Why did McPeek also enter Envoulante?
Handicappers are compelled to take him at his word, that Envoulante, owned by a different group, has earned the right to run, will appreciate the added trip, and has been the regular workmate of Swiss Skywalker all along. So why not?
In this most unusual year, if Swiss Skywalker were to win both races-that’s–a particularly large two-letter word–combined with her easy Santa Anita Oaks score, her sophomore filly campaign would have to be considered among the best ever.
Parenthetically, she is not to be confused with a best three year old filly of-all-time discussion, just her accomplishments in the here-and-now, that’s all. And Alabama and Oaks turn-back in three weeks is the stuff of legends.
Whatever the context, today’s ask is a very big one, and we wish the game Blue Grass runnerup behind likely Kentucky Derby second choice Art Collector nothing but the best. She’s earned that respect, whatever happens later today.
Some weekend plays we’re serious about making, price and events-on-the-ground dependent:
SARATOGA RACE COURSE —
SARATOGA DERBY, Race 8 —
Most Probable Winner: Decorated Invader (7-5)
The Bet: Key-Box Exactas–Decorated Invader with Gufo (9-2), Colonel Liam (7-2) and Bama Breeze (15-1). Also, saver win wager with HRI Horse to Watch Bama Breeze at 12-1 or more.
Exotica: Key Decorated Invader on top is super-exotics over Gufo, Colonel Liam, Bama Breeze, No Word (15-1) and Field Pass (6-1).
GRADE 1 ALABAMA STAKES, Race 9 —
Most Probable Winner: Swiss Skydiver (1-1)
The Bet: Spice Is Nice (3-1) to win at 5-2 or greater. Exacta Box–Spice Is Nice, Swiss Skydiver and Harvey’s Lil Goil’ (10-1). Also, saver win wager Harvey’s Lil Goil’ at 6-1 or greater.
Exotica: Super-Exotics part wheel using the three exacta-box fillies above with each other, and with Envoulante (8-1) and Bonny South (8-1) third and fourth.
MONMOUTH PARK RACETRACK —
PEGASUS STAKES —
Most Probable Winner: Pneumatic (5-2)
The Bet: Pneumatic to win, no price restrictions. Key-Box Exacta Pneumatic with As Seen On T.V. (7-2) and Jesus’ Team (3-1)
Exotica: Key Pneumatic in super-exotics on top of As Seen On T.V. and Jesus’ Team, with ALL third; extra TRI ticket with ‘T.V.’ and ‘Team’ with each other.
DEL MAR TURF CLUB —
SOLANA BEACH STAKES —
Most Probable Winner: Mucho Unusual (6-5)
The Bet: Pulpit Rider (6-1) to win at 9-2 or greater, exacta box Mucho Unusual and Pulpit Rider.
Exotica: Key Mucho Unusual first in super-exotics with Pulpit Rider 2nd, with ALL 3rd.