Tracy Farmer's Perfect Alibi needed no excuses in Sunday's Grade 1 Spinaway, squeezing through at the rail to defeat 9-5 favorite Frank's Rockette by 1 1/4 lengths on the wire. The 2-year-old Sky Mesa Filly, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. for trainer Mark Casse, was recording her second straight win at Saratoga after a defeating the same filly in the G2 Adirondack in early August. Sent to post at 5-1 odds, Perfect Alibi completed seven furlongs over the fast main track in 1:23.44.
“She amazes me because she's just so laid back and doesn't get excited about anything,” said Casse. “When the gate opens, she's tough. I wasn't sure if she was going to get through [on the rail]. I knew if she could just get her head in front, she would probably be fine. What a nice filly.”
Settling second-last down the backstretch, Perfect Alibi was content to wait along the rail as frontrunner Mundaye Call led through fractions of :22.65 and :45.45. Frank's Rockette was just a length behind in second early on, but took over on the run around the far turn to have the lead turning for home.
Ortiz moved Perfect Alibi up the rail when a slot opened up, and though Frank's Rockette and Julien Leparoux tried to keep them pinned against the rail in the stretch, Perfect Alibi was very determined and squeezed through the narrow opening to find the wire first. Ortiz and Perfect Alibi were 1 1/4 lengths better than Frank's Rockette at the finish, with Figure of Speech third and Miss Peppina up from last to finish fourth.
“She's game. She likes to fight and she has a strong kick,” Ortiz said. “She wanted to win and there was some contact but when she made the hole she made it through. Everything worked out good for her today. I think she can go better going longer, but we'll enjoy this right now and see what happens next.”
Bred in Kentucky by Pin Oak Stud, Perfect Alibi is out of the stakes-winning Maria's Mon mare No Use Denying. A half-sister to six-figure earners Noble Thought and Broken Promise, the filly commanded $220,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select sale as a yearling. She won at first asking in May at Churchill Downs, then ran second in the listed Astoria Stakes at Belmont Park. Perfect Alibi rebounded to win the Adirondack over Frank's Rockette by a half-length, and the Spinaway win improves her overall record to three wins from four starts for earnings over $300,000.
“This filly is just a fighter,” Casse continued. “She keeps coming. I think the farther she runs, the better she likes it. Now, we have to decide if we go to the Frizette [October 6, Belmont Park] or the Alcibiades [October 4, Keeneland]. Hopefully, if all goes well, we'll head to the Breeders' Cup. I think she's proven she at least deserves a chance.”
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