Blind Luck Wins Alabama

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 surprised.”


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 amazing, too.”


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 the country.

“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 Equine Research Center, the Kentucky Horse Park, and the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.



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