Three-year-old fillies are in the racing spotlight this weekend, with Grade 1 action on both coasts featured in Saturday telecasts. First up will be the 129th running of the Alabama Stakes from Saratoga, where the absence of divisional leader Rachel Alexandra makes for an interesting contest and a very good betting race. The 1 Ï€-mile dirt fixture is scheduled to be run at 5:47 p.m. Eastern and can be seen on either HRTV or TVG.
Nearly three hours later, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, TVG will be showing the 53rd running of the Del Mar Oaks, a 1 1/8-miles on the grass.
For those who canâ€™t get wait for the weekend to get their dose of televised racing, thereâ€™s Friday afternoonâ€™s Grade 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga, also for 3-year-old fillies. It was scheduled to go off at 4:56 Eastern time on TVG and HRTV, but NYRA officials have moved up post time because of inclement weather and that race could go off around 4:25 p.m. No word yet on whether or not it is off the turf.
With Rachel Alexandra skipping the Alabama for upcoming races unknown, favoritism is likely to fall on Careless Jewel, a Tapit filly trained byJosie CarrollÂ coming off three consecutive daylight victories. Her last two winsâ€”an allowance race on Polytrack at Woodbine and the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks on dirt at Delaware Parkâ€”were nearly identical. Under Robert Landry, Careless Jewel went to the front at the start in both 1 1/16-mile contests, opened up by five lengths at the eighth pole, then cruised to the wire to win by 7 1/4 lengths.
This will be her biggest test, in terms of competition and distance. Funny Moon, Donâ€™t Forget Gil and Wynning Ride, the 1-2-3 finishers in a hotly contested Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at 1 1/4 miles at Belmont Park last time out July 25, figure to provide Careless Jewel with her stiffest opposition. Casanova Moon, fourth in the CCA Oaks, and Canadian stakes veteran Milwaukee Appeal also could be in the thick of it in the spaâ€™s biggest race for 3-year-old fillies going a route of ground.
The Del Mar Oaks has attracted 10 fillies, including Well Monied, the daughter of Mariaâ€™s Mon who closed well to be second to Gozzip Girl in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park last month. That defeat ended a three-race winning streak for the Howard Zucker-trained miss, who will be ridden by red-hot Joel Rosario.
Lightly raced English-bred Hermioneâ€™s Magic, a daughter of Systematic, could be a factor for trainer Kathy Walsh. She won her U.S. debut, only her third career start, in impression fashion, finishing with a rush to beat entry-level allowance horses on the Del Mar turf Aug. 5.
Also, donâ€™t forget that Friday night marks the second-season debut of the popular Animal Planet series, which airs at 10 p.m. Eastern and repeats at midnight and 5 a.m. the following morning. Click hereÂ for more information on the series.
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