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Blind Luck, Devil May Care Clash in Alabama

It will be “East meets West” Saturday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course when Devil May Care and Blind Luck, the top two 3-year-old fillies in the country, face off in the 130th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Betfair TVG Alabama at 1 ¼ miles.


Coming off a pair of Grade 1 victories in the Mother Goose at Belmont Park and, most recently, the Betfair TVG Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, the New York-based Devil May Care has carved out a niche as the best of her division on the East Coast and will be facing her toughest competition since meeting the boys in the Kentucky Derby.


“She’s held her form since the Coaching Club, which I don’t think was a particularly taxing race for her, and so far everything is going to plan,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains the daughter of Malibu Moon for Glencrest Farm. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Blind Luck, and I’m looking forward to the race. You’re putting the two most accomplished fillies on the racetrack and that’s what everyone wants to see.”


With John Velazquez aboard, Devil May Care drew post position 2 and was made the 7-5 morning line favorite in the field of six sophomore fillies.


Meanwhile, Blind Luck, the California-based daughter of Pollard’s Vision whose indomitable will to win has lifted her record to 8-2-2 from 12 starts at seven different tracks, will be making her first start in New York and first at 1 ¼ miles in the Alabama.


“I'm very happy to have the opportunity to have a good enough horse to run in the Alabama,” said Blind Luck’s trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, whose last foray to New York with a top filly was in 1991 with Lite Light, who turned the tables on Meadow Star in a memorable edition of the Coaching Club American Oaks. “It's a very prestigious race and I think any trainer and any owner in America would like to win that race.


“I think this is a race that the fans want to see,” added the trainer of the 8-5 choice on the morning line, who leaves from post position 4 with Joel Rosario up.

But, as both Pletcher and Hollendorfer are quick to add, the Alabama is far from a two-horse race.


Drawing the outside post is Havre de Grace, who in her first graded stakes start gave Blind Luck all she could handle, missing by a nose in the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks on July 10. The lovely bay daughter of Saint Liam hasn’t been off the board in five lifetime starts, winning one of her two starts at age two and going 1-2-0 in three 2010 starts.


“We are over the moon about Havre de Grace,” said trainer Tony Dutrow of the Fox Hill farm color-bearer. “She’s improved in every one of her starts. The Delaware Oaks, the first graded stakes of her career, I’m very, very proud of what she did. Now, she’s going to go 1 ¼ miles against the very best of her generation.


“It’s a mountain to climb, and we’re going into it with our eyes wide open, but we’re feeling very good about her and are going to give it a try. I think she’ll run great, and I hope she runs great enough.”


Jeremy Rose will ride Havre de Grace, 4-1 on the morning line.


In July, Dutrow’s older brother, Rick, sent out Jay Em Ess Stable’s Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan winner Acting Happy to finish third to Devil May Care and Biofuel in the Coaching Club while racing wide. Now 2-2-1 from five starts, all this year, the Empire Maker filly has been training well at the Spa and Dutrow is hoping for a big effort Saturday.


“She's got to come forward, that's for sure, because [Devil May Care is] a very nice filly and so is Blind Luck,” said Dutrow. “So she definitely has her work cut out for her.”


Jose Lezcano rides Acting Happy, 12-1 on the morning line, from the rail.

Brooklyn Boyz Stables’ Connie and Michael got the closest of any 3-year-old filly to Devil May Care in her three victories this year, finishing 1 ¼ lengths back in the Mother Goose, a race her connections think was the best of her career.


“We happened to catch one of the top 3-year-old fillies in the country,” said Anthony Bonomo, Jr., assistant to trainer Dominick Schettino. “She showed her heart and determination to be in front. She doesn’t care what’s going on. She’s going to try to beat you, no matter what.”

Rajiv Maragh rides the daughter of Roman Ruler, 10-1 on the morning line, from post position 5.

Completing the field is Tizahit, the 2009 Demoiselle winner who most recently was second to Persistently in an optional claimer going 1 1/8th miles at the Spa on July 30. Trained by George Weaver for Jim and Susan Hill, the Tiznow filly drew post position 3 and will be ridden by Hall of Famer Edgar Prado as the 20-1 outsider.

The Betfair TVG Alabama is the final leg of the Betfair TVG Triple Tiara, which began with the Betfair TVG Acorn and continued with the Betfair TVG Coaching Club American Oaks. With no filly set to sweep the series, Betfair TVG will give $30,000 to the chosen charity of the owners of the filly that accumulates the most points (on an 11-6-4 basis for first, second, or third) over the three races.


The only two Alabama horses to have accumulated points in the series are Devil May Care (tied for the lead with Champagne d’Oro with 11 points), and Acting Happy, who has four points.


The field for the Grade 1 Betfair TVG Alabama:








Acting Happy (KY)

J Lezcano


R E Dutrow, Jr.



Devil May Care (KY)

J R Velazquez


T A Pletcher



Tizahit (VA)

E S Prado


G Weaver



Blind Luck (KY)

J Rosario


J Hollendorfer



Connie and Michael (KY)

R Maragh


D A Schettino



Havre de Grace (KY)

J Rose


A W Dutrow






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Older Comments about Blind Luck, Devil May Care Clash in Alabama...

Save Zenyatta, because it's so hard to think of her as a filly or mare because of her behemoth size and ability. I really believe that Blind Luck is the best filly racing in America right now. As I said, besides Zenyatta. She's also a confirmed late closer who's closing kick has worked very effectively for her in 2010. Devil May Care is also an outstanding 3yr.old filly. But she likes to rate a bit closer to the lead than does Blind Luck. This should be quite an intriguing race. Whether or not Blind Luck's late closing kick can catch the front end speed of Devil May Care? One thing I am convinced of. Blind Luck or Devil May Care, both, could beat Rachel Alexandra based on the form that Rachel has raced with so far in 2010. But I like Blind Luck to just edge out Devil May Care in a very close finish. I think Blind Luck is an outstanding 3yr.old filly with a world of talent. Baring injury or a set-back of any kind? I really think the sky is the limit for this filly. JMO.

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