Songbird records first move since CCA Oaks triumph

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TwinSpires Staff

August 5th, 2016

Edited Press Release

Fox Hill Farm's undefeated champion Songbird took to Saratoga’s fast main track early Thursday morning for a five-furlong breeze, her first timed move since a dominating victory in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) on July 24 at the Spa.

Accompanied by New York Racing Association (NYRA) outrider Juan Galbes and ridden by exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez, the three-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro made a routine visit to the paddock before being turned loose on the clubhouse turn and steadily picking up her pace.

Songbird earned an official five-furlong time of 1:00.81, completing the final quarter-mile in :24. NYRA clockers caught her in :13 for her opening furlong and :36 4/5 for three furlongs. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 4/5.

"This was a really nice and smooth work. I'm very pleased," said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who arrived on Tuesday to check in on his stable star. "She always looks the same. She really looks like she's not working that fast but, when you have the clock on her, she's coming along pretty good."

The Hall of Famer said the original plan was to breeze her on Wednesday but opted instead to take a wait-and-see approach to evaluate the track surface after the recent deluge of rain that soaked the area last weekend.

"I had to be real flexible on this because we had rain," he explained. "I'm really happy that I waited 'til today. It was, I thought, a much better racetrack. The track's still a little bit deep because she got a little bit of a blow out of it.

"The track guys did a good job because they had it sealed and opened it up yesterday and a few people worked but I think we were just willing to wait another day to make sure," he added.

Last year, Songbird rattled off four straight victories, including three Grade 1s, capped by a 5 3/4-length score in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) en route to earning Eclipse Award honors as the 2015 champion juvenile filly.

Songbird has added another five graded stakes to her resume as a sophomore, topped by the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) in April and a 5 1/4-length romp in her East Coast debut in the CCA Oaks.

With wins at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles over four different racetracks, Songbird has collected her nine victories by a total of 47 3/4 lengths and earnings of more than $2.4 million.

Songbird is expected to assume a weekly workout regimen as she prepares to target the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (G1), which will send three-year-old fillies 1 1/4 miles on August 20 at the Spa.

After Thursday's morning work, Hollendorfer said that the filly will breeze again "in six or seven days."

In other Alabama news, trainer Dale Romans said the race is under consideration for Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) heroine Go Maggie Go one day after the Ghostzapper daughter worked five furlongs in 1:00.50 on Saratoga's wet-fast main track Wednesday filly.

There would be no hesitation if not for one particular filly, who is expected to run.

"The plans aren't set yet, but will be soon," Romans said Thursday morning. "Her next start could very well be the Alabama. Obviously, it's going to be a salty race. She's a good work horse; she worked fast yesterday. She does everything strong, and has had some really good races – it's just that the one filly (Songbird) is such a dominant filly in this division, it's hard to run in the level we should and still stay away from Songbird."

 Songbird photo courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography