Race 10 at Saturday, August 17 | Post Time 5:59 PM Eastern Time

Alabama Stakes | Purse $600,000 | One and One-Quarter Miles | Fillies, Three Years Old

 

Aside from a non-threatening third place finish in the Kentucky Oaks, Lady Apple (2) has really turned into a top horse in the three year old filly division. She won her three year old debut sprinting in February then an allowance race when stretched out to two turns the next month. She earned an 88 Equibase figure in the allowance win then improved markedly to 95 when posting the upset in the Fantasy Stakes in April. Then came the Kentucky Oaks, but she rebounded off that effort to win the Iowa Oaks in July with a career-best 100 figure. Santana has been up for all four wins this season and rides back and from the two post she can sit off likely early leader Ulele (6) before rallying as she did in both the Fantasy and Iowa Oaks. There's little doubt Lady Apple can get the 10 furlongs as a daughter of Curlin and as the 100 figure is better, by far, than the 92 figure morning line favorite Dunbar Road (1) earned winning the Mother Goose Stakes (around one turn, not two) in her last start, just repeating it could make her very tough to beat. Improving upon that last effort makes her even tougher in this situation.

When finishing second, beaten a length, to Guarana in the CCA Oaks last month over the track, Point of Honor (7) wasn't disgraced a bit. I might even go so far as to say that effort was like winning considering how dominant Guarana has been in her last two races which were the equivalent of paid workouts. Point of Honor earned a 94 figure winning the Black Eyed Susan prior to the CCA Oaks, then improved to a career-best 97 figure in the Oaks. Like Lady Apple, Point of Honor is a daughter of Curlin so getting the extra furlong is of no concern so she's got about the same probability to win as Lady Apple and the only reason she's listed as the second win contender here is she opens at 5 to 2 compared to 6 to 1 for Lady Apple.

Street Band (5) would be the better bet of the trio of win contenders here if her 10/1 starting odds hold up. She was 10/1 when posting the upset in the Fair Grounds Oaks in March. Next out, very similar to Lady Apple, Street Band threw in a clunker in the Kentucky Oaks. Just like Lady Apple, Street Band rebounded with a win in the Indiana Oaks last month, earning a new career-best figure of 103. Her pedigree isn't as strong for the 10 furlong trip as the two daughters of Curlin but other than that she's fits on all counts as a contender.

Favorite Dunbar Road (1) is fairly suspect, particularly at low odds, in this situation and will be bet heavily not only because her Mother Goose win was visually impressive but because Chad Brown trains. She's not been worse than second in four starts but she's not on an improving pattern of figures (91, 96, 92, 83) and her win in the Mother Goose came around one turn compared to the last efforts of the previous three contenders which were all around two turns. I'll use her on exacta tickets but for the most part I am taking a stand against her. Also to be used on exactas is Ulele (6), mostly because she is very likely to be sent to the front by Rosario, as those tactics resulted in her last win. She was only beaten a half-length by Point of Honor in the Black Eyed Susan when stalking in third in the early stages under Rosario so it's possible she can rate as well. Her 100 figure last out when beaten a half-length by Lady Apple in the Iowa Oaks is decent enough too so opening at 8/1 I think it's a good idea to use her on exacta tickets.

 

Betting Strategies:

Win Bets:

Lady Apple (2) to win at 5 to 2.

Consider a win bet on Point of Honor (7) at 5 to 2 or more.

For a smaller amount, Street Band (5) can be bet to win at 7 to 2 or more.

Exactas:

Lady Apple (2), Street Band (5) and Point of Honor (7) over Dunbar Road (1), Lady Apple (2), Street Band (5), Ulele (6) and Point of Honor (7).

You can consider the above bet as a trifecta as well, using the same five horses in second and in third.