Alabama, Sword Dancer Highlight Saturday Saratoga Card

There are two Grade 1 races on Saturday’s Saratoga card, featuring a strong group of three-year-old fillies and some of the top turf runners currently in training.

A field of nine will line up to go 1 ½ miles on the grass in the $600,000 Sword Dancer (G1), and the following race features a very competitive field of seven three-year-old fillies who will go in the $600,000 Alabama (G1).

Both races will be televised live on NBC Sports Network’s “Summer at Saratoga” which gets underway at 5:00 ET.

Turbo Compressor (2-1) is the likely favorite in the Sword Dancer coming off back to back wins in the Colonial Turf Cup and United Nations (G1) in his last two starts.

His main foes will be Man O’ War (G1) victor and runner up Point of Entry (5-2) and Center Divider (6-1).

The Alabama lost a major player in Believe You Can, the Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner will be hitting the farm for some needed rest as opposed to heading to Saratoga.

However, the race still drew a very talented group of three-year-old fillies including Delaware Oaks (G2) winner Grace Hall (7-5), Mother Goose (G1) winner Zo Impressive, and Coaching Club of America Oaks (G1) winner Questing.

Get Michael Dempsey full Saratoga card and daily free horse racing picks at Pick Shark.

Let’s head out to Saratoga for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

Saratoga Race 10 The Alabama (G1) Post time 5:46 ET

2 Zo Impressive   5-1

3 Grace Hall   7-5

6 Questing   5-2

7 In Lingerie   6-1

Zo Impressive raced wide most of the trip last out in the Coaching Club of America Oak s (G1), going four wide around the first turn and wide again on the far turn. Jockey Rajiv Maragh let Questing get the jump turning for home and she was gone. Our top pick was closer to the pace two back in the Mother Goose (G1) and she finished gamely for the win, earning a career top speed fig in that outing. She has enough pedigree to handle the stretch out here to 1 ¼ miles. She is by Hard Spun out of the stakes winner Zoftig ($401K) who also dropped stakes winner Zaftig ($409K). The filly may be able to turn the tables here and it looks as if Maragh should have her right in the mix early here as there is not much early pace signed on. She looks like decent value here if she goes off near her 5-1 morning line.

Grace Hall came up short as the betting favorite in her third place finish in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), but she sure bounced back with a sharp effort winning the Delaware Oaks (G2) last out, earning a career top speed figure in the win. The Oaks is the lone start in her career that she has missed landing in the exacta, and she has a win over the Spa main track, taking the Spinaway (G1) here last summer in her second career start. She comes in here really sharp and looks as if she will handle the extra ground, although her price is going to be a bit on the light side.

Questing is coming off a win in the CCA Oaks, opening up  on the far turn and then drifting out badly inside the final furlong but was well clear, winning by 4 ½ lengths over our top pick in here. Two back she won her first start since arriving in the U.S. last fall when she popped a 105 Beyer beating Alw-1 optional claimers. The runner up and third place finisher came out of that race to win next out, with runner up Book Review earning a 98 Beyer for his win against Alw-1 foes at the Spa on opening day. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers in a race without much other early speed.  The main question is whether she can handle another furlong.

Wagering

WIN: Zo Impressive to win at 7-2 or better.

EXACTA: 2,3 / 2,3,6,7

TRIFECTA: 2,3 / 2,3,6,7 / 2,3,5,6,7

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