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Breeders' Cup 2017

Alabama Quartet Doing Fine


The top four finishers from Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Betfair TVG Alabama all appear to have emerged from the race in good order.


Alabama heroine Blind Luck was reported to be a “happy horse” by Archie Cross, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who is also a co-owner of the filly with Mark Dedomenico, John Carver, and Peter Abruzzo.


“She’s doing well – much better than I am this morning!” quipped Cross. “She’s chilling, relaxing, and is refreshed after having an hour-long walk this morning.”


More cross-country trips are possible for Blind Luck, who has left her home state of California four times this year.


“We wouldn’t be able to do this if she didn’t travel so well,” said Cross, who also exercises Blind Luck and has accompanied the filly on her journeys.


Trainer Tony Dutrow was extremely pleased with Havre de Grace’s gutsy second-place effort in the Betfair TVG Alabama and said the Fox Hill Farms colorbearer appeared to come out of the race in fine shape.


“She’s doing great,” Dutrow said. “Having run as well as she did in the Delaware Oaks and the Alabama, I think our filly proved without any doubt that she’s absolutely among the best of her generation. We’ll go forward now with the very big picture of what’s in her best interests and look for another great opportunity like those two races.”


Dutrow also spoke highly of Blind Luck.


“She is so special,” he said. “Nothing matters to her – not a slow pace, not a fast pace, not the track she’s running on, not if she has to go around horses. I haven’t seen a single thing that matters to her, and that’s a compliment.”


A few barns over, Tony Dutrow’s younger brother, Rick Dutrow, Jr., was equally pleased with the third-place finish of Jay Em Ess Stable’s Acting Happy.


“She ran a great race and it looks like she came out of it well,” said Dutrow, Jr. “Everyone associated with the horse is happy this morning.”


Acting Happy, a daughter of Empire Maker, has now assembled an impressive record of 2-2-2 from six starts, including a win in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan and a pair of Grade 1 third-place efforts in the Betfair TVG Coaching Club and Betfair TVG Alabama this summer.


“I’m thinking about it,” Dutrow said of plans for the filly. “She’s had six races already this year, and I don’t know if I just want to give her a break. We’ll see.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher was understandably disappointed with the performance of Alabama favorite Devil May Care, who finished fourth.


“I never felt she fired during the race,” he said this morning. “She was beaten only 4 ½ lengths but I never felt she ran to her capabilities. She trained up to it very well and came out of it in good order. Watching the race, I was concerned down the backside because as slow as the fractions were, I would have expected her to really be tugging Johnny [Velazquez] up there, He said when they turned up the backside, she was off the bridle. He was hoping that it was a good sign, that she was relaxed, but it became more and more apparent that she just never really kicked in.”


Pletcher has nothing but praise for the Alabama winner, Blind Luck.


“She’s a tremendous filly and Jerry [Hollendorfer] has done a tremendous job with her,” he said. “She shows up everywhere, and wins.”


Looking ahead, Pletcher said he was considering several options for Devil May Care, among them the Grade 1 Beldame at Belmont Park on October 2.



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