Songbird "Perfect" in Final Alabama Prep
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Songbird after winning the Coaching Club American Oaks.

Undefeated champion filly Songbird put in her final breeze the morning of Aug. 15 for the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course in a move characterized as "perfect" by Christina Jelm, who is overseeing the filly's preparations at Saratoga this summer while trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is at his California base.

Under regular exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez, Songbird was clocked for the half-mile work in :24.22 and :47.49, galloping out in 1:01.19.

"We just wanted to have a nice, easy, half-mile breeze and an easy gallop out," said Jelm. "Edgar did perfect, and she was smooth in her regular Songbird fashion. Edgar did exactly what Jerry wanted."

Jelm has been at Saratoga with Songbird since the 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro and out of the graded stakes winning mare Ivanavinalot won the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) here July 24.

"She's relaxed," said Jelm, a Kentucky-based bloodstock agent that travels with Hollendorfer's horses outside of California and who was at Saratoga with Hollendorfer's Sweet Lulu when that filly won the Test Stakes (gr. I) in 2013. "She's just professional all the time."

"She's everything you'd want in a horse," Jelm continued. "She has her fun and playful moments, but she knows when to have them."

Hollendorfer is expected to arrive in Saratoga from California within the next day or two. Songbird will school in the paddock during the race day on Thursday and Friday, walking tomorrow, jogging on Wednesday, and galloping into the Aug. 20 Alabama.

"Every afternoon we get her out and walk her," said Jelm, "so she gets some sunshine and she'll be able to graze a little bit every day." 

Last week, a half sister to last year's 2-year-old Eclipse champion by Ghostzapper  , consigned by Hill 'N' Dale Sales Agency as agent sold for $800,000, the fourth-highest-priced yearling in the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale. She was purchased by PTK, a Florida-based partnership led by Tom Haughey.

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