Alinghi Lives Up to Billing With Victory in U.S. Debut

Alinghi Lives Up to Billing With Victory in U.S. Debut
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Australian sensation Alinghi was victorious in her U.S. debut.
Edited NYRA report
Australian sensation Alinghi, making her North American debut for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, put in an game stretch run Monday to win the grade III Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 mile at Saratoga.

The race was broadcast live to Australia by Radio Sport 92.7 in Melbourne, where it was early morning Tuesday at post time.

Racing on the anti-bleeding medication Salix for the first time – it is not allowed in her native country – the 4-year-old Encosta de Lago filly bided her time under jockey Edgar Prado, as longshot Lentil set a hot pace of :22 3/5; :45 4/5 and 1:10 over the "good" turf course. On the far turn, Alinghi launched her rally, found clear running at the head of the lane, and blew by Que Puntual, who had taken the lead.

Alinghi hit the wire in 1:42 1/5 for her 11th win in 17 starts. The winners' purse of $69,780 boosted her career earnings to $2,692,858.

"She's a real nice filly," Frankel said of the favorite, who returned $3.80 to win. "I thought Edgar (Prado) rode a beautiful race. She's got a tremendous turn of foot. The only anxious moment I had was when (track announcer) Tom Durkin said that Delta Princess was putting in a run. I'm happy that we can get her going with a win. I don't have anything picked out. We'll just play it by ear and see how she comes out. The Lasix definitely helped her."

Prado, who now holds a 38-34 lead over John Velazquez in the Saratoga jockey standings entering the meet's final week, said: "She's push-button and she's very exciting. She's got a lot of class. The only question was whether she could get a mile and a sixteenth. Her turn of foot reminds me of Kitten's Joy."

Que Puntual held off Delta Princess by a neck for second. It was another neck back to Delta Princess in third.

Alinghi is owned by Alan Jones, John Leaver, and John Messara.

(Chart, Equibase)

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