Pletcher's Ashado, Flower Alley Work in Tandem

(from Saratoga track notes)
Starlight Stable's Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) champion Ashado and Melnyk Racing Stables' Flower Alley worked together Sunday morning for trainer Todd Pletcher. The duo breezed five furlongs in 1:02 1/5 over the Saratoga main track.

Both horses are on similar training schedules after coming away with victories two weeks ago at Saratoga. Flower Alley took the Jim Dandy (gr. II) by 5 ¼ lengths on July 30, while Ashado won the Go for Wand (gr. I) by 9 ½ lengths a day later.

Flower Alley is one of the contenders for the 136th running of the $1 million Travers (gr. I), at 10 furlongs for 3-year-olds Aug. 27. Ashado, who is the current leader of the older filly and mare division, is now being pointed for the $400,000 Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I), also at 10 furlongs Aug. 26.

"It's not rocket science," Pletcher said. "They're pretty much on a similar schedule. Both ran 14 or 15 days ago, and they're going to run at 1¼ miles around the same time. They seemed to work well together the last time they breezed. They both worked very well and finished up strong."

Pletcher also had Stronach Stables' Spun Sugar work Sunday morning. She is being pointed to the $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/4 miles on Saturday. Spun Sugar cruised five furlongs handily in :59.

With Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks (both gr. I) winner Smuggler recovering from a fever and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Summerly sidelined with an injury, the Black Eyed Susan (gr. II) winner Spun Sugar will likely share the favorite's role with Ashland winner Sis City (gr. I). Also being considered for the Alabama are Dance Away Capote, For All We Know, R Lady Joy, Ready and Alluring, and Sweet Symphony.

"The race has obviously changed with the deflection of Smuggler, who would have probably been the favorite, and Summerly, who would have probably been the second choice," Pletcher said. "Our filly has shown in her last two races that she fits with those two fillies. We are certainly going to give her a chance to prove herself here."

Carter (gr. I) winner Forest Danger, who has not raced since the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), posted a four-furlong breeze in :50. Forest Danger has been nursing a muscle pull.