Blind Luck’s keen eye found the wire first again Saturday
afternoon at Saratoga Race Course as she rallied from last to edge Havre de
Grace by a neck and win the 130th
running of the Grade 1, $500,000
Betfair TVG Alabama Stakes.
Patiently ridden by Joel Rosario, the daughter of Pollard’s
Vision was unhurried along the rail, right behind heavily favored Devil May
Care, as Acting Happy took the field of six 3-year-old fillies through pokey
fractions of 24.03, 49.45 and 1:14.81.
On the turn, as Havre de Grace made her move to gain the
lead and Devil May Care charged into contention, only to falter, Rosario swung
Blind Luck five-wide and she responded with a determined late run that carried
her to the front for good with 110 yards to go.
“I thought when Joel made his move coming into the lane he
would have a good chance to run them down,” said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer,
who owns a part of Blind Luck along with Mark Dedomenico, John Carver, and
Peter Abruzzo. “I didn’t know until the wire.”
Devil May Care, who had carried a pair of Grade 1 victories
into the clash between the top two 3-year-old fillies in the country, wound up
fourth, beaten 2 ¾ lengths by Acting Happy, with Tizahit and Connie and Michael
completing the order of finish.
“I got her out nearing the quarter-pole, but she didn’t come
up with anything,” said John Velazquez, aboard the beaten favorite. “I was very
It was the fifth victory from seven starts this year for the
California-based Blind Luck, three of which came by a nose, including the Grade
1 Las Virgenes, the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, and the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks, in
which she nipped Havre de Grace right at the wire.
The connections of Havre de Grace, who was making only the
sixth start of her career, were thrilled with their filly’s performance in her
second graded stakes appearance.
“She laid it on the track and just got beat,” said Jeremy
Rose, aboard the runner-up. “She ran every step, and she ran down the lane as
hard as she could. She’s an amazing filly – we just got beat by a filly that’s
Blind Luck, who is now 9-2-2 from 13 starts at eight
different racetracks, returned $5.60 for a $2 win to her backers in the crowd
of 30,852 as the 9-5 second choice. With the winner’s purse of $300,000, she now
has earned $1,878,712 and the right to be called the top 3-year-old filly in
“It seems like we have the best 3-year-old filly, right
now,” said Hollendorfer, whose last foray East with a top filly was with Lite
Light, who beat Meadow Star in a memorable edition of the Coaching Club
American Oaks in 1991. “I hate to make those kinds of assessments. We’ll see
what she can do the rest of the year. We’ve had a very consistent filly all
year long. She got the job done on a slow pace. I’m very proud of her the way
she did it.”
The Betfair TVG Alabama was the final leg of the Betfair TVG
Triple Tiara, which commenced with the Betfair TVG Acorn and continued with the
Betfair TVG Coaching Club American Oaks, won by Devil May Care. With no filly having
swept the series, Devil May Care came out on top of the standings and $30,000
will be donated by Betfair TVG in her name to the University
of Kentucky’s Gluck
Center, the Kentucky Horse
Park, and the
Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.