Alabama Is Test For Top Fillies

The grade I Alabama Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies is worth far more than its $750,000 purse. A win by Juddmonte Farm's Flute would put her at the top of her class and provide her with strong hold on the divisional championship.

Flute, however, is not the only filly with a big shot in the Alabama. Any of these fillies could pass the Alabama test and head to the top of the class in the 3-year-old filly division. Late-running Real Cozzy couldn't pass Flute in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but the 1 1/4-mile distance should mover her up. Tweedside has hit her best form coming off a dominating win in the 12-furlong Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) and Canadian Dancethruthedawn beat the boys in the Queens Plate at Woodbine.

Flute could hold a slight edge because she is the only filly in the group with a win over the Saratoga track. The daughter 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew has won three of four starts. She rallied to win the Kentucky Oaks over Real Cozzy and Fleet Renee, who is opting out of the Alabama, and then beat older horses in an allowance contest.

Real Cozzy has been knocking on the door all year long. She was second to Flute in the Kentucky Oaks and second against Fleet Renee in the Mother Goose (gr. I). Dancethruthedawn was a well-beaten 12th in the Kentucky Oaks only to rebound with a win against the boys in the Queen's Plate, followed by a second place effort in the Prince of Wales behind Travers (gr. I) contender Win City.

The field for the Alabama Stakes includes: Real Cozzy (Larry Melancon); Tweedside (Richard Migliore); Unrestrained (John Velazquez); Exogenous (Javier Castellano); Flute (Edgar Prado); Dancethruthedawn (Pat Day); and Two Item Limit (Jorge Chavez).