Ontario-bred Holy Helena will try to extend her win streak to four in Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. The 3 year-old Ghostzapper filly earned two of her three victories in Canada by winning the Woodbine Oaks and Queens Plate, respectively, after breaking her maiden at Belmont Park in her second start.
“She's doing good,” Jerkens said. “She's facing better horses this time, and a different surface, but we'll give it a try.”
All four starts have been in Holy Helena's sophomore year, as the runner for Stronach Stables didn't debut as a 2-year-old.
“They had high hopes for her as a 2-year-old, I didn't have her. She went to the farm, and it took us a while to get her going, but it's not like she ever knocked our socks off in the morning,” said Jerkens. “She always acted like she had a lot of class in other ways, but she's doing good. Again, she's not going to work and make you go ‘wow', but she's been methodical. Her works have been good and steady.”
The competition will be tougher than what Holy Helena has faced up to this point in her young career, but Jerkens will have the opportunity to answer where exactly his filly ranks after her last two races at Woodbine, and how others to the north fare at Saratoga.
“Obviously, it's only restricted to Ontario-breds but once in a while, a good one will come along, but you can count them on your hands, the ones that you remember, Milwaukee Brew, Shaman Ghost, and types like that. You see some maidens running sometimes, there's a lot of money hanging up there,” said Jerkens.
“I don't know if she's in it, this quality of fillies is a lot better than what she ran against in the Woodbine Oaks that's for sure, but at least she's been the distance so she's got that going for her.”
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