Coglianese Photos/Lauren King

Songbird Keeps Improving Toward Alabama

Worked five furlongs in 1:00.64 at Saratoga Aug. 9.

Fox Hill Farms' undefeated Songbird breezed over the Saratoga Race Course main track Aug. 9 as she prepares grade I, $600,000 Alabama Stakes coming up Aug. 20.

Christina Jelm, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, described the work as "heavenly."

After touring the paddock, Songbird worked five furlongs in 1:00.64 with exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez aboard. New York Racing Association clockers caught the 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro galloping out to six furlongs in 1:13 2/5, seven furlongs in 1:26, and one mile in 1:39 3/5.

"She took off the pole really smooth and easy," said Jelm. "She almost loped off the pole. That's why Jerry likes to have Edgar breeze her; he breaks off nice and easy and slow and just lets her build momentum on her own. That's what we did today. Edgar did a perfect job."

Songbird, the 2015 champion 2-year-old filly, is unbeaten in nine starts and is exiting a 5 1/4-length victory in Saratoga's Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) July 24. She has worked one other time since that race, five furlongs in 1:00.81 Aug. 4.

"She's definitely improving every day," said Jelm. "Even just galloping the past couple of days Edgar's arms have been a little sore. She's definitely getting fit for this surface."

Hollendorfer originally planned to breeze Songbird on Wednesday or Thursday for the 1 1/4-mile Alabama but moved up the workout due to the possibility of rain.

"It's looking like (it will) rain late tonight and tomorrow morning, so we thought this was the safest bet," said Jelm. "And, with the way she has been training, she was ready to work. She wanted to do something."

Songbird likely will have one more breeze before the Alabama, with the date to be decided later by Hollendorfer, according to Jelm.