Saturday, August 20, 2011

Photo Essay: A Sweet Victory for Royal Delta in the Alabama

Even the best laid plans often go awry, to mangle the words of poet Robert Burns. Canadian filly Inglorious entered the Grade 1 Alabama as well prepared as a horse could be for a race of this magnitude.

Royal Delta earns her crown in the Grade 1 Alabama

Trainer Josie Carroll put Inglorious through a string of solid works following a freshening after an emphatic victory in the Queen's Plate. The Hennessy-Noble Strike mare arrived at Saratoga on Tuesday evening and enjoyed a few mornings worth of gallops over the surface. Everything seemed to be in place and all the little boxes on the checklist were ticked.

Unfortunately, the filly decided she wasn't up for it on this day.

The eventual winner, Royal Delta, got out of the gate well and settled in stalking position behind Plum Pretty. Inglorious, who did not break well, watched from the back of the pack as the front pair opened up on the field.

Royal Delta prepares to entertain the Saratoga punters

Down the backstretch, Plum Pretty contiued to lead with It's Tricky, Royal Delta, Pinch Pie, St. John's River and Inglorious, in order, following the leader. Into the far turn, Plum Pretty and It's Tricky accelerated away from the pack as Royal Delta, tipped off the rail and prepared to make her move.

With an eighth of a mile to run, Royal Delta overtook the leaders and romped to a 5 1/2-length victory over It's Tricky. Inglorious would never fire, finishing last.

"It didn't look like she handled it all today," said Carroll after the race. "She was climbing past us the first time. Luis said she never got comfortable under him and it certainly looked that way. She never fired for him like she usually does."

A classy Carroll took time to answer all post-race questions from the assembled media scrum and had words of praise for the winning Bill Mott trainne.

"We knew going in this was a great race and a wonderful horse won it," said Carroll.

Inglorious walks in to the Saratoga paddock

The betting public expected a big effort from the Canadian filly on this day, at one point she was 6-5 on the odds board, before late money arrived on Triple Crown chasing It's Trick.

"We were very surprised to see the odds on her," agreed Carroll.

Although it was a difficult result for the Inglorious camp, the fily appeared fine after the race and will certainly be back to fight another day.

"We'll go back to the barn and see how she comes out of this one," said Carroll.

Royal Delta wins the Alabama

Below are photos from the Grade 1 Alabama. As always, double-left click the photo to enlarge it and use your 'Back' button to return to the photo essay.

It's Tricky , it's tricky, tricky,tricky...

Plum Pretty...lives up to her name, yup

The Queen's Plate winner prepares for the big race

A focused Conteras prepares for battle

Inglorious heads to the track

Away she goes

Anxious fans await the start of the Alabama

Inglorious 'climbing' through the stretch run

Inglorious crosses the wire...but now how we had hoped

Inglorious will return to fight another day

St John's River did not close rapidly

Contreras and Carroll talk it over

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