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Don't Ignore McLaughlin's Longshots in Upcoming Saratoga Stakes

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin

Kiaran McLaughlin knows his horses are going to be long shots in upcoming Grade 1 stakes, but that won't deter the trainer from taking shots in the Alabama with Darley Stable's/Godolphin Racing's Carnival Court, the Ballerina with Villanesca, and the Travers with Transparent.


On Saturday, Carnival Court, a neck winner of an optional claimer on July 7 at Belmont Park, breezed four furlongs over the Tapeta surface at the Greentree Training Center, her final major work before the $600,000 Alabama on August 17.


"She worked real fast last week on the main track (five furlongs in 1:00.12), so we slowed her down on purpose," said McLaughlin. "She worked in 50 3/5, which is just what we wanted. It's a tough race, but we're trying to get a piece of it. We would have worked her [on the main track] and slowed her down, but the track was muddy so we worked her back there [at Greentree]. We usually like to stay on the dirt because we're racing on it."


Carnival Court, a 3-year-old half-sister to champion Royal Delta, will be making her fourth career start in the Alabama as she attempts to emulate Questing, who won the 2012 Alabama for McLaughlin and Godolphin.


Villanesca, who earned her first black-type win in the Magnolia Jackson overnight stakes on July 5 at Belmont, will attempt to earn a Grade 1 victory or placing when she competes in the $500,000 Ballerina on August 23.


"She's already a stakes winner, so if we want to improve her value we have to get her graded stakes placed," said McLaughlin.


McLaughlin added that Transparent, who was disqualified from first and placed fifth in the $100,000 Curlin on July 26, remains on track for the Grade 1 Travers on August 24.


"We think he'll like a mile and a quarter, but Palace Malice, Orb, and Verrazano will make the Travers very, very tough," said McLaughlin.





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