Saturday, August 15, 2009

Don't Forget Gil looks eager for Alabama

David Grening, Daily Racing Form

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - If Rachel Alexandra doesn't show up in the entries, then next Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama becomes a wide-open affair. Don't Forget Gil cemented her position as a top-flight contender Friday morning with her second consecutive sharp workout over Saratoga's main track.

Don't Forget Gil, runner-up in the Coaching Club American Oaks last month, went five furlongs in 1:00.05, with a last quarter in 24.83 seconds under exercise rider Gustavo Delgado. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.69. This work came one week after Don't Forget Gil went four furlongs in 46.85 seconds.

"She's training great, she's really happy," trainer Mark Hennig said. "You wouldn't know [she worked fast], she's bouncing around; she's ready to go again."

Don't Forget Gil had license not to run well in the Coaching Club American Oaks. She hadn't run in 11 weeks prior, was coming out of a poor effort in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, and was attempting to run 1 1/4 miles for the first time.

Still, she had trained so well at Belmont Park, Hennig had confidence the filly would fire big and she did, coming up a neck short to Funny Moon.

"The race sent us forward quite a bit," Hennig said. "I was concerned about running a mile and a quarter off that long a layoff that she would be knocked out, but she got in the feed tub and ate everything that night."

Hennig was also a bit concerned whether Don't Forget Gil would like Saratoga as much as she does Belmont.

"She absolutely loves Belmont," Hennig said. "I was a little bit concerned coming up here. Is she going to be as happy with this track? And she seems to be training super."

Also working Friday for the Alabama was Milwaukee Appeal, the Woodbine Oaks winner who went five furlongs in 59.24 seconds while drifting out. Others pointing to the race include Be Fair, Careless Jewel, Funny Moon, Tasty Temptation, and Wynning Ride. Possibles include Bon Jovi Girl, Gozzip Girl, and Sweet and Flawless.

While Rachel Alexandra has not been entirely ruled out of the Alabama, it is more likely that she starts next against males in either the Travers or Woodward.

No comments:

Thoroughbred News | BloodHorse.com