Phipps Stable’s Sea Island punched
her ticket to next month’s Grade 1, 1 ¼-mile Alabama Stakes when she
easily defeated older Grade 2 winners St. John’s River
and Acting Happy in 1 1/8-mile allowance optional claimer on Thursday at the
The 3-year-old Pulpit filly broke her maiden running a mile at Aqueduct
Racetrack on April 13 and stretched out to 1 1/16 miles to take a first-level
allowance optional claimer a month later at Belmont Park.
Cut back in distance when supplemented to the six-furlong Grade 3 Victory Ride
on July 7, she finished fourth behind Emma’s Encore.
“The one thing I do know about [Sea Island]
is that she’ll go that far,” McGaughey said. “I’m not
too sure some of the other ones want to run that far. The good thing about her
is that if she breaks well, she can place herself where a horse like Questing
is not going to get away from her. She wouldn’t have so much ground to
make up. I’m looking forward to it. She’ll go back to the track
tomorrow, and hopefully all systems will be go.”
headlines an August 18 card that also includes the Grade 1 Sword Dancer.