The $600,000 Grade 1 Alabama is a prestigious stakes race at Saratoga for 3-year-old fillies and one of the oldest races for females in the U.S. Inaugurated in 1872, the 1 ¼ mile race headlines three stake races at The Spa on Saturday, Aug. 21.
Recent notable champions include the sensational Songbird (2015), who won nine Grade 1 races and rolled to a 7-length win in the Alabama. In 2020, Swiss Skydiver cruised to a throttled-down 3 ½ length victory in the Alabama and then followed months later to beat the boys in the Preakness Stakes. Some other all-time greats to win the Alabama include Top Flight, Gamely, Beldame, Maskette, Shuvee, Life’s Magic, Silverbulletday, Royal Delta and stakes record-setter Go For Wand.
The 2021 Alabama Stakes has a solid field scheduled and will test these fillies’ stamina in the 1 1/4 mile race. You can watch Saturday’s races at Saratoga on TVG as part of its comprehensive daily racing coverage.
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Alabama Stakes – 2021 Field and Odds
1 – Crazy Beautiful (3-1)
- Jockey: Mike Smith
- Trainer: Ken McPeek
2 – Will’s Secret (3-1)
- Jockey: Jon Court
- Trainer: Dallas Stewart
3 – Clairiere (6-1)
- Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
- Trainer: Steve Asmussen
4 – Maracuja (7-2)
- Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.
- Trainer: Rob Atras
5 – Played Hard (3-1)
- Jockey: Luis Saez
- Trainer: Philip Bauer
6 – Malathaat (1-1)
- Jockey: John Velazquez
- Trainer: Todd Pletcher
6 – Army Wife (6-1)
- Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
- Trainer: Mike Maker
The Alabama Stakes is not a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race this year. But next Saturday’s Travers Stakes Day will have three “Win and You’re In” automatic qualifiers for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 5-6 at Del Mar.
Race Contenders and Profiles
Malathaat has won 5 of 6 starts and is a daughter of the great Curlin. She’ll be the favorite, having won the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and beating Will’s Secret and Clairiere. Malathaat finished second last month at Saratoga in the Grade 1 Coaching Club America Oaks at this same distance and posted her fastest speed figure (107, Equibase).
Will’s Secret won a minor stakes to start 2021 and followed with a Grade 3 win. In April, she finished third in the Grade 1 Ashland and then third again in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, 3 lengths behind winner Malathaat and a nose better than Clairiere. Just her second out-of-the-money finish came in last month’s Indiana Oaks (G3).
Clairiere is also a daughter of Curlin who has finished behind Malathaat in both the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and a distant third in the Coaching Club America Oaks (G1)
Maracuja was the upset winner over Malathaat and Clairiere in last month’s 1 1/8 mile Coaching Club America Oaks for her first stakes win.
Army Wife is 3 for 4 this year and working very sharply for this race. She’s won back-to-back graded stakes her last two starts, in the Black-Eyed Susan and last month’s Iowa Oaks with her highest speed figure (102).
Played Hard makes her stakes debut after winning over this track last month in an easy wire-to-wire Allowance race. Her recent work tab includes a bullet best-of-35 runners at 5 furlongs.
Crazy Beautiful has won 5 of 10 starts and only missed the money in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). She has won her last two starts and graded stakes races including a career-best 100 speed figure against a small field going shorter.
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Photo caption: Eclipse Sportswire