Image for Brian Zipse Brian Zipse - October 14, 2022

Alabama Stakes: Nest Will Look To Validate Her Position as the Top 3-Year-Old Filly in the Nation

Alabama Stakes Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2022 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga!

PP Horse TwinSpires Odds Jockey Trainer
1 SKRATCH KAT 20/1
BET HERE
J Leparoux P Bauer
2 GODDESS OF FIRE 15/1
BET HERE
J Velazquez T Pletcher
3 GERRYMANDER 4/1
BET HERE
J Rosario C Brown
4 NEST 3/5
BET HERE
I Ortiz Jr T Pletcher
5 NOSTALGIC 15/1
BET HERE
J Ortiz W Mott
6 SHE’S KEEN 30/1
BET HERE
J Lezcano G R Arnold II
7 SECRET OATH 7/2
BET HERE
L Saez D W Lukas

Alabama Stakes Best Bets

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$50 Exacta – Nest over Gerrymander = $50

Top Pick: Nest (3/5)

To ensure your bets, check out our Horse Racing Calculator, here!

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Alabama Stakes Odds

A romping winner of the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) earlier in the meet, Nest will look to validate her position as the top 3-year-old filly in the nation when she headlines the field in Saturday’s Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.

Before her 12 1/4-length runaway four weeks ago, the Todd Pletcher-trained filly was an excellent second behind her stablemate Mo Donegal in the final leg of the Triple Crown in June.

A two-time Grade 1 winning daughter of Curlin, Nest will be heavily favored in the 10-furlong Alabama to collect her fifth career stakes win on Saturday in what will be her ninth-lifetime start.

Chief among her rivals will be Secret Oath. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, the Arrogate filly was no match for Nest last month, but before that she had defeated her in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in May.

In between the big win and distant second behind Nest came a fourth-place finish for the three-time stakes winner against the males in the Preakness.

Gerrymander is also a multiple-stakes winner, who has also defeated Nest. That win came in the Tempted Stakes last November. Trained by Chad Brown, the daughter of Into Mischief has only started twice so far in 2022.

After an indifferent seasonal debut in Grade 2 Eight Belles while sprinting, she turned in an impressive performance while rolling to victory over Shahama in the Grade 2 Mother Goose at Belmont Park eight weeks ago.

Alabama Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

Nest

A dominant winner of the Grade 1 Coaching Club Oaks four weeks ago, this regally bred daughter of Curlin showed her fondness for the Saratoga main track, as well as her continuing improvement to take a stranglehold of the 3-year-old filly division.

A very good second against the males in the Belmont Stakes two starts back and an easy winner of the Ashland earlier this year, the Todd Pletcher trainee looks to become the nation’s first horse to record three Grade 1 wins in 2022.

Although her rivalry with Secret Oath currently stands at one win a piece, she is clearly the one to beat off her recent form, and the stretch out to 10 furlongs on Saturday should only help. She is the top pick.

Secret Oath

The winner against a strong field which included Nest in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaksthree starts back, she will need to bounce back on Saturday. After the big win, she was a non-threatening fourth in the Preakness and a well-beaten second in the Coaching Club American Oaks.

The defeat at the hands of Nest snapped an impressive four-race winning streak against fillies and came over the same track she will navigate on Saturday

I believe she is better than she showed last time, where she didn’t change leads in the stretch, but you have to wonder if the tough campaign is catching up with her. She is a classy filly, but turning the tables on Nest while running a furlong further seems like a tall order.

Gerrymander

A promising 2-year-old filly last season with two wins and two seconds in four starts, this Into Mischief filly has been brought back slowly this year by top trainer Chad Brown.

While she lacks the overall credentials of Nest and Secret Oath, she has the advantage of being a fresher horse as she tackles her biggest assignment yet on Saturday. Taking on Nest at 10 furlongs at 1 1/4 miles will be no easy task, but she should be ready to fire her best.

She broke her maiden over a nice filly at Saratoga last year and comes in off a very nice win last time in the 9-furlong Mother Goose. This will be her first try around two turns, which is a concern, but she looks primed for the test. I like her second best here.

Nostalgic

Trained by Bill Mott, the Medaglia d’Oro filly had a pair of nice wins earlier this year, including the Grade 3 Gazelle in April. She was ignored by the bettors when she stepped up to take on Nest and Secret Oath in the last two, though, and that disrespect proved correct.

She was no match in both the Kentucky Oaks and the Coaching Club American Oaks last time. She was also beaten by Nest as a 2-year-old.

The graded stakes winner gets another shot here and might appreciate the longer trip, but still, her track record against the favorite makes her hard to pick out here in her third consecutive attempt in Grade 1.

Goddess of Fire

The other Pletcher runner has been knocking on the door of stakes races ever since getting up late to win her debut last summer. The good news is that the win came at Saratoga, the bad news is she has not won a race since.

Her seven consecutive losses all came in stakes racing and included four second-place finishes, but the only one which came against this level of competition was an 11th-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks.

I do like her prep over the track last month, and blinkers on should have her more involved early, but she still looks like a contender for a minor award at best.

Skratch Kat

The second daughter of Arrogate in the field, this one from the barn of Philip Bauer will be making her stakes debut on Saturday. A winner of 2-of-5 in maiden and allowance company, she stepped up with an improved effort last time, rallying to win at Churchill Downs.

This will be a big step up in class, but the distance may suit her well and she did beat a pair of decent fillies last time. I honestly cannot see her winning this, but she could be a longshot who rallies up for a minor share to fill out the exotics.

She’s Keen

This filly from the barn of Rusty Arnold will be making an even bigger jump in class than Skratch Kat, as she just broke her maiden in her last start. It was her fifth attempt in maiden company and came in her first start at Saratoga.

The daughter of Keen Ice is on the improve and will likely handle the distance, but from a class perspective, this attempt against Nest and the rest seems to be too much for her at this stage of her career.

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How to Watch the Alabama Stakes

What Alabama Stakes (Grade 1)
Location Saratoga
Time Saturday, August 20 — 5:35pm Eastern time
How to Watch Fox Sports
Purse $600,000
Image for Brian Zipse

AUTHOR

Brian Zipse

219 Articles

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

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