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By Shawn Rychling

Hard to believe, but we have just a little more than two weeks to go in the 2017 Saratoga meet, and heading into this weekend we’ll have just a mere 15 racing days remaining on the schedule.

With the revised Saratoga schedule of the past couple of years we are just coming off a weekend that served as a little break in the major stakes action. Don’t get us wrong, there was some excellent racing last weekend including great 2-year-old stakes for the colts and fillies alike.

This week we jump back in with perhaps the top race for fillies at the entire meet. Naturally, we are talking the 137th running of the Alabama for 3-year-old fillies.  The race is 1 ¼ miles on the main track.

It is an interesting, if not eclectic group of horses that have signed on for the race. New Money Honey breaking from the rail and Holy Helena going from post 2 are being touted as two of the favorites in the race, but they have glaring question marks.

New Money Honey has won 4 of her 6 career starts, including a pair of Grade 1 events. But all of her starts have come on turf and the Alabama will be her dirt debut.  He sire is Medaglia d’Oro who won the Travers on dirt at the same distance, so we’ll see.

Holy Helena has won three in a row and the last two have been much faster than what the ‘Honey’ has done. However, this one has run her best on a synthetic surface.

Meanwhile, Unchained Melody has gotten faster every race posting a speed figure of 100 last time in winning the Grade-I Mother Goose.  She is the only horse in the Alabama Field to hit triple digits in speed figures, but she is being asked to run much longer.

The Alabama seems ripe for an upset and the Hot List is going to look for #4 Lockdown to give us some value. She has also gotten faster each race and while she lost to Unchained Melody in the Mother Goose she was a close third to Abel Tasman in the Kentucky Oaks when she had a horrid trip.

No other contender in here has faced Abel Tasman, perhaps the best filly in the country and is skipping this race. The morning line on Lockdown is 5-1 and we’ll look for her to move up from there.  Play her in all three slots in the trifecta with the favorites we mentioned.

Good luck and we are looking forward to Travers Day next week as the Saratoga meet winds down.

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