Subtle Aly Wins Tight One in Schuylerville

Subtle Aly Wins Tight One in Schuylerville
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Subtle Aly (rear) wins a tight Schuylerville Stakes on opening day at Saratoga.
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In  a dramatic finish with three horses on the wire, Saratoga’s opening day feature Wednesday went to Subtle Aly, who just edged a game I Promise and Blitzing in the $111,000 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) for 2-year-old fillies.

I Promise, under Eibar Coa, led from the gate and into deep stretch in the six furlong contest when Subtle Aly and Edgar Prado edged by to gain a slim advantage. On the outside, Shaun Bridgmohan got Blitzing rolling late, and they appeared to have momentum to win the stakes for juvenile fillies.

But neither Subtle Aly or I Promise would give way and I Promise, on the rail, actually battled back and was just nosed on the wire. Subtle Aly, between horses got the narrow win, with Blitzing third, a neck behind. All three were coming off maiden debut victories.

“When the horse came on the outside of me, my horse just picked it up again," Prado said. "Galloping out, she was galloping really strong, so I was happy. She was very good. I’m very proud of her.”

Subtle Aly overcame a stumble at the start to be forwardly placed by Prado.

Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said the seven-furlong Spinaway (gr. I) on Sept. 2 is the goal for Subtle Aly.

The 2-1 favorite According to Plan, broke poorly and spotted the field too much ground, rallying mildly to finish fourth.

Subtle Aly, by French Envoy out of the Alydar mare Aly Sweet, was bred in Florida by David and Teresa Palmer. She races for IEAH Stables and Alan Pesch. She earned $66,600 Wedenesday.

Subtle Aly broke her maiden June 23 at Churchill Downs by five lengths at nearly 14-1 under Corey Lanerie. She was trained by Steve Asmussen for Pesch in her first start, after which IEAH bought an interest in the filly.

"We got her about six days ago, after Steve breezed her five furlongs," Dutrow said. "The first time I had seen her was today in the paddock. I had been training at Aqueduct and drove here this morning. As soon as I saw Asmussen, I said, `Thanks a lot. You’ve done a great job.’

"Asmussen said she would win the race and don’t worry about anything. It looked like she didn’t break too good, and Edgar  said she didn’t feel too comfortable behind. We got very lucky today, considering the way she broke. She did show up as a racehorse."

Subtle Aly ran the six furlongs in 1:11.06 and paid $10.20, $5.70, and $4. I Promise returned $9 and $5.60 and Blitzing paid $4.10.

Breaking fast from the rail, I Promise set sharp fractions of :22 and :45 2/5.

“That’s about as tough as they can get," said Gary Contessa, conditioner of I Promise. "One jump before the wire, she had her. One jump after the wire, she had her. That’s horse racing. When they are this young and this game, you just have to love them. At the end of the meet, we’ll be back.”

"We had everything against us today: post position, on the inside, and we even got pinched in the stretch," Coa added. "And she still ran that way. I thought I had it, but (Prado) just got me at the end.”

The race was the third win of the card for Prado.

"I was told I could put her on the lead or take her back, and I eased her back and was just biding my time," Prado said. "She was looking at something around the wire, but she was very game."

Dicey DJ, Lady Chase, Dreabons Legacy, and Yes by West trailed.

(Chart, Equibase)

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