Holy Helena and New Money Honey Meet In Alabama

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

August 15th, 2017

Holy Helena (by WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Three-year-old fillies will be in the spotlight on the fourth Saturday of the Saratoga season, with the primary focus being on the $600,000 Alabama (G1).

The Alabama, along with the Delaware H. (G1) for older horses, is one of the few significant dirt races for fillies and mares run at 1 1/4 miles. That could help a pair of Alabama entrants, Holy Helena and New Money Honey, which have already won at the distance.

Holy Helena, who broke her maiden on dirt at Belmont in May, enters off two straight wins over the Tapeta at Woodbine, including a dominating 3 1/2-length score against males in Canada’s premier race, the Queen’s Plate. She’s a homebred racing for Stronach Stables and is trained by Jimmy Jerkens.

New Money Honey will try dirt for the first time Saturday after registering a neck decision over French invader Sistercharlie in the Belmont Oaks (G1), also at 1 1/4 miles. The Chad Brown trainee has won four of six on grass, including last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Santa Anita.

Yet another filly that figures to garner a lot of support is Unchained Melody, who’s won three of four including the Mother Goose (G2) by three lengths last out. The Brian Lynch trainee has yet to run beyond 1 1/16 miles or around two turns.

It Tiz Well has won the Honeybee (G3) and Delaware Oaks (G3) this season, but the latter race’s third-place finisher, Actress, might prove the better of the two going 10 furlongs. Actress broke her maiden two starts ago in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico, rallying from far back going 1 1/8 miles, and was possibly unsuited by the shorter Delaware Oaks, which was run at 1 1/16 miles.

Stakes winner Lockdown has placed in the Gazelle (G2), Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Mother Goose in her last three starts, while Salty has chased futilely chased division leader Abel Tasman in the Kentucky Oaks, Acorn (G1), and Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) in her last three outings. Another Alabama probable if Mopotism, who exits a tough-luck second in the Indiana Oaks (G3) as the favorite.

The supporting feature is the $300,000 Lake Placid (G2) at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. On the early list of probables were Proctor’s Ledge and Party Boat, the one-two finishers in last month’s Lake George (G3).