2022 Alabama Stakes Betting Odds and Contenders Preview
2022 Alabama Stakes Betting Odds and Contenders Preview
The three-year-old filly division has been spectacular this year, and divisional leaders Nest and Secret Oath will clash once again in the 2022 Alabama Stakes (G1) on August 20 at Saratoga! The $600,000 race drew a field of seven, with five others hoping they can step up into the spotlight and topple the divisional leaders.
Nest turned heads with a blowout victory in the Alabama. Though she finished second to Secret Oath in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), she ran a good second against boys in the Belmont (G1) and then blew out Secret Oath in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1). In addition to those clashes with Nest, Secret Oath dominated the Arkansas spur of the Kentucky Oaks trail and ran fourth against males in the Preakness (G1).
Among their top challengers are Mother Goose (G2) winner Gerrymander, Gazelle (G3) winner Nostalgic, and multiple Grade 2-placed Goddess of Fire. Keep reading to get to know everyone in the starting gate, and to find out how to watch and wager on the Alabama Stakes online!
Alabama Stakes 2022 Information
- Race Date: Saturday, August 20, 2022
- Track: Saratoga Race Course
- Post Time: 5:35 p.m. Eastern time
- Distance: 1 ¼ miles on dirt
- Age/Sex: 3-year-old fillies
- Where to Watch: TVG.com
- Where to Bet: TVG.com and FanDuel Racing
Alabama Stakes Odds<
The Saratoga racing office finalized the field for the 2022 Alabama Stakes on Wednesday, August 11. They assigned the morning line the next day. It tends to give a good idea of which horses will be favored and which will be long shots, though live odds are based on actual betting and will fluctuate until the gates fling open.
This is the 2022 Alabama field in post-position order including morning-line odds, trainers, and jockeys for each horse.
Goddess of Fire
D. Wayne Lukas
Keep watching TVG and TVG.com for the latest news on contenders in the Alabama. And, make sure to track the odds as post time comes closer. After all, it is a smart betting move to make sure you are getting the right odds on your horse based on their real chances of winning.
The movements in odds can also provide useful information to help you make the smartest bets. If a horse you expected to take a lot of money is comparatively taking little, it means they are cold on the board. In that case, it is worth asking whether you are just getting surprisingly good value, or if there is a reason sharp players do not think that horse will run well. On the other hand, a horse you expected to be a long shot might be taking a lot more money than you expected. In that case, you will need to make a judgment of whether that horse is just an underlay, or if there is a reason the expected long shot should be a leading contender.
Alabama Stakes Prep Results
Since the Alabama Stakes typically draws the best of the three-year-old division, many of the horses in the race are coming out of stakes-level three-year-old filly races. Four of the seven Alabama contenders raced in the Kentucky Oaks, though all have raced at least once since then. Nest has raced twice since, most recently a 12-length tour de force in the Coaching Club American Oaks: a race in which Secret Oath and Nostalgic were second and third in their most recent starts.
Goddess of Fire, who finished 11th in the Kentucky Oaks, most recently finished second behind Tarab in the Wilton Stakes, a dirt mile at Saratoga that was restricted to non-winners of a stakes race other than state-bred. Gerrymander did not contest the Kentucky Oaks, but most recently won the Mother Goose (G2) by daylight.
Two horses in the Alabama have never faced stakes company before. Rail-drawn Skratch Kat has two wins in five starts; her most recent victory came in a first-level allowance at Churchill Downs. She’s Keen takes an even bigger class hike: she wired a maiden special weight at Saratoga on July 28 and faces winners for the first time in the Alabama.
Alabama Stakes Contenders
- Skratch Kat: This Philip Bauer trainee has shown incremental improvement in her last three starts, finally getting over the mark against winners with an N1X victory at Churchill Downs on July 1. Her pedigree appeals for the 1 ¼-mile trip. However, she still needs a big step forward to match the standard of the best in here, meaning that she may keep on to round deeper exotics but would be a surprise on the win end. And, this closer probably wants more early speed than she is going to get.
- Goddess of Fire: The “B” stringer from the Todd Pletcher barn, she is not yet a graded stakes winner but she frequently finds the frame against good horses and is liable to improve second off the lay. However, she was well beaten two starts ago in the Kentucky Oaks, which was her longest race to date. Her pedigree does not scream a mile and a quarter—she is a Mineshaft half to Mind Control, a brilliant sprint- to middle-distance horse.
- Gerrymander: Though this Chad Brown charge was well beaten after a suboptimal start in the Eight Belles (G2), her sophomore debut, she found her best yet when stalking the pace and romping in the Mother Goose. Second-place Shahama franked the form when winning the Monmouth Oaks (G3) next out. On top of that, her pedigree makes her fascinating for the stretch out: she is by the versatile Into Mischief out of the Hard Spun mare Ruby Lips: making her a half-sister to star marathon-distance horse Lone Rock.
- Nest: The “A” string from the Pletcher barn, she is the horse to beat. Her twelve-length win in the Coaching Club American Oaks makes her the current leader of the division, and also proved that she could handle Saratoga beautifully. She has shown ultimate versatility in pace, and a strong second-place finish in the Belmont combined with her long-winded pedigree mean that the 10-furlong distance in the Alabama should be right up her alley.
- Nostalgic: This Bill Mott trainee punched her ticket to the Kentucky Oaks with a win in the Gazelle (G3), but finished a troubled 10th in the Oaks and was a no-match third behind Nest and Secret Oath in the Coaching Club American Oaks. She can move forward second off a break, she has tactical speed, and she has a credible pedigree for the stretch out to a mile and a quarter. However, she needs to find a lot to turn the tables on her last-out foes.
- She’s Keen: Rusty Arnold has been focusing her on long-distance races: and, why not? Despite mostly sprint class underneath, she is by Travers winner Keen Ice (sire of Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike), she ran a decent third in a maiden race at 1 3/16 miles two back, and then graduated at 1 ⅛ miles at Saratoga last out. Expect her to send to the lead and try to keep them going as long as possible, though she will need to take a quantum leap forward in order to be in the picture at the end.
- Secret Oath: The Kentucky Oaks winner freshened up for two months after a fourth-place finish in the Preakness. She was no match for Nest in the Coaching Club American Oaks last out, but judging from her previous form, she may have needed one off the layoff. Her form from earlier this year suggests that she has plenty of improvement within herself compared to her last race, and rider Luis Saez should be both aggressive and knowledgeable enough to give her a good trip.
Alabama Stakes Past Winners Past Performances
The Coaching Club American Oaks is the key prep for the Alabama. In the last 10 years, four Coaching Club American Oaks have gone on to win the race: Questing (2012), Princess of Sylmar (2013), Stopchargingmaria (2014), and Songbird (2016). Three more non-winners of that race have also gone on to win the Alabama next out: Elate (2017), Eskimo Kisses (2018), and Malathaat (2020).
The Mother Goose has also produced some recent Alabama winners. Embellish the Lace (2015) finished only ninth in that race, but bounced back to wire the Alabama. Dunbar Road, who (like Gerrymander) won the race for Chad Brown, won the Alabama next out.
In fact, the only Alabama winner in the last ten years who didn’t come straight from either the Coaching Club American Oaks or the Mother Goose was Swiss Skydiver, who won it in 2020, a year when the racing schedule was almost unrecognizable due to COVID-19. She came to the Alabama off of a second-place finish in the Blue Grass (G2), which was run in July that year.
Alabama Stakes Undercard
Saratoga is hosting an 11-race card on Saturday, and the Alabama is scheduled as the 10th. It is one of three stakes: the day’s eighth race is the Lake Placid (G2), a route for three-year-old fillies on the grass, and the ninth is the Smart N Fancy for older female turf sprinters. Add to that eight more races including a pair of classy juvenile maiden special eights, and Saturday features many great betting opportunities. You can tune in all day long and wager on TVG or FanDuel!
Saratoga Race Course
Based in Saratoga Springs, New York, Saratoga Race Course is the oldest organized sporting venue of any kind in the United States. John Hunter, who became the first chairman of The Jockey Club, and William R. Travers built the horse racing track in 1864.
Saratoga has two popular nicknames—The Spa, named for the nearby mineral springs, and the Graveyard of Favorites, named for the historic upsets recorded there in years past. Perhaps most notable is Man o' War’s only defeat in 21 starts, Secretariat’s loss to Onion after winning the Triple Crown, and Rachel Alexandra losing there in her four-year-old season.
There are three separate horse racing tracks at Saratoga: a main dirt track; an outer turf track known as the Mellon Turf Course, and an inner turf horse racing track. The main dirt track has a 1 1/8 mile circumference, the Mellon Turf Course is a 1-mile turf track and the inner turf track is 7 furlongs. Additionally, there is the Oklahoma Track, used for morning training.
Alabama Stakes FAQ
Q: When is the Alabama Stakes?
A: Saturday, August 20, 2022, at 5:35 p.m. Eastern time.
Q: Where is the Alabama Stakes?
A: The Alabama Stakes takes place at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Alabama Stakes?
A: The history of the Alabama Stakes stretches all the way back to 1872, and trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons loomed large through much of it. He won the race a record eight times: First with Priscilla Ruley in 1924, and last with High Bid in 1959. Two trainers with a starter in the 2022 Alabama have three wins apiece: Todd Pletcher (Nest, Goddess of Fire) won most recently in 2021 with Malathaat and Bill Mott (Nostalgic) most recently won in 2017 with Elate. D. Wayne Lukas (Secret Oath) has won the race twice; Chad Brown (Gerrymander) has won once.
Q: Who is the favorite for the Alabama Stakes?
A: Nest, for trainer Todd Pletcher, is the 1-2 morning line favorite. Off of her dominant Coaching Club American Oaks score, she should be a heavy favorite. Gerrymander (7-2) and Secret Oath (4-1) are the next two horses on the morning line, and either could be the second choice.
Q: Who is the best Alabama Stakes jockey?
A: Three jockeys have won the Alabama five times: Jerry Bailey, Mike Smith, and Jorge Velasquez. Smith is the only active rider among those three, though he does not have a call in this year’s edition. Among jockeys who are riding in the 2022 Alabama, John Velazquez (Goddess of Fire) leads with four victories. Jose Ortiz (Nostalgic) has won three times, and Jose Lezcano (She’s Keen), Irad Ortiz (Nest), and Joel Rosario (Gerrymander) have each won once.
Q: Who won the Alabama Stakes in 2021?
A: Malathaat, the 2021 Kentucky Oaks winner, won the 2021 Alabama for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez. They unite behind Goddess of Fire, though Pletcher also trains the likely favorite Nest.