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2023 Alabama Stakes Replay & Analysis | Randomized Runs Roughshod Over Saratoga Rivals
Randomized (8) winning the Alabama (Dan Heary/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

2023 Alabama Stakes Replay & Analysis | Randomized Runs Roughshod Over Saratoga Rivals

Randomized won the 2023 Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, running roughshod over her rivals in gate-to-wire fashion. Is the Chad Brown trainee worthy of being the new top-ranked 3-year-old dirt filly?

Watch the replay & get the Racing Dudes’ expert analysis, then tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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Watch the official race replay here:

The press release:

Klaravich Stables’ Randomized took command from the onset and never looked back en route to a triumphant score in Saturday’s 143rd running of the 10-furlong Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama presented by Keeneland Sales at Saratoga Race Course.

Randomized, by Nyquist, provided four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown with a sweep of both graded stakes carded for Saturday’s program. Two races earlier, he captured the Grade 2 Lake Placid with Ran Jan Racing homebred Aspray.

The $420,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sales purchase arrived at the historic test for 3-year-old fillies from a gate-to-wire score in the restricted Wilton going one mile through the Spa’s Wilson Chute on July 14. She tested deeper waters when stretching out in distance for the Alabama, where she comfortably defeated Grade 1-winners Wet Paint and Defining Purpose.

Breaking right on top from post 8, Randomized cleared the field and assumed position along the rail under Joel Rosario, leading the field into the first turn through an opening quarter-mile in 23.45 seconds over the fast main track with the Brian Hernandez, Jr.-piloted Defining Purpose one length behind in second. Wet Paint, the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks winner, was tucked along the rail a close fourth to the inside of Sacred Wish in third.

Positions remain unchanged through a half-mile in 47.86, but Defining Purpose inched her way closer to be a half-length behind Randomized. Around the far turn through three-quarters in 1:12.33, Defining Purpose was coaxed for more while Rosario remained patient aboard Randomized, who was wide exiting the turn allowing a rallying Wet Paint to find racing room.

Rosario tapped Randomized on the right shoulder nearing the three-eighths and she built a 3 1/2-length advantage on Wet Paint and Defining Purpose at the stretch call. In the final furlong, Rosario peeked behind both shoulders and saw no competition as Randomized strolled home in hand to a four-length victory in a final time of 2:03.07. Wet Paint finished second, another 1 1/2 lengths in front of Defining Purpose. Completing the field were Sabra Tuff, Taxed, Gambling Girl, Sacred Wish, Fireline, Julia Shining and Chocolate Gelato.

A stewards’ inquiry and an objection by Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard Gambling Girl, who clipped heels with a drifting in Taxed after the start, resulted in the latter being disqualified and placed sixth. Gambling Girl was reported to have bled.

Rosario said he felt comfortable throughout.

“She was moving so well, nice and easy all around, she’s just a nice filly, but a mile and a quarter is a long ways, so you have to have something always for the end,” said Rosario, who piloted 2010 Alabama winner Blind Luck. “It looked like she did it really easy. I asked her turning for home and it looked like she would just start running, so that was a really good performance.”

Randomized earned her third lifetime victory, adding to her Wilton score as well as a second-out graduation on March 31 going a one-turn mile at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The win provided a second Alabama conquest for Brown, who saddled Peter Brant’s Dunbar Road to victory in 2019. Brown, who was pointing Randomized to the Grade 1 Cotillion on September 23 at Parx Racing, credited Klaravich Stables owner Seth Klarman for encouraging him to stretch his talented filly out in distance.

“I wasn’t real confident [about the 10 furlongs]. I was confident that she would run a real good race,” Brown said. “He [Seth Klarman] kept looking at the race and looking at how fast the horse was and said, ‘you should really consider this race.’ I was really just going to rest her for the Cotillion at a mile and a sixteenth. As it got closer and I reported she was breezing well, I said, ‘let’s at least enter and look at the pace scenario.’ We talked about it the other day and he said, ‘if you’re willing to do it, I have a good feeling about this.’ He was right.

The win marked a sixth collaborative stakes triumph this meet for Brown and Klarman.

“He’s a guy that’s such a good partner of our stable and such an important guy in our industry – not only through all the commerce he does, but all the philanthropy. Seth’s a great guy and may he and his wife [Beth] really enjoy this win. They deserve it,” Brown said.

Brown said he felt most confident at the three-eighths pole.

“I thought it was just between her and the horse stalking her,” Brown said. “Wet Paint did run on and she was clearly a threat coming up the rail, but when I looked beyond her I didn’t see anything running there. Even when she started running up the rail, I felt she wasn’t moving as fast as I’ve seen her do on the outside of horses. I liked the fact that although she was coming, it was on the inside.”

Brown did not rule out an endeavor against older fillies and mares in the Grade 1 Spinster on October 8 at Keeneland, but also said the Grade 1 Cotillion remains an option.

“I’m just going to enjoy this win. We didn’t really look beyond it when we committed to give this a try,” Brown said. “We took everything else off the table. The Cotillion is still in play, it’s quite a ways away still. It’s not that I wouldn’t go there, but not a bad idea to think about Keeneland either.”

Two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox, who conditions Wet Paint, said he was happy with the trip engineered by Flavien Prat for the bay daughter of Blame got.

“I was proud of our filly’s effort. She was maybe a little bit closer than I expected, but you know, given the trip – I loved the trip,” Cox said. “I love where Flavien put her. I thought she responded when he asked her. She finished up well, second best today no excuses that I can see.

“She stayed on well and I think she really handled the distance,” Cox added.

Prat said he could have been hindered by a slow pace scenario.

“I feel the winner got it pretty easy on the lead, but in the meantime I was a lot closer than we usually are,” Prat said. “Naturally, she put herself closer in the race, I just feel I didn’t have any excuse. Hats off to the winner, she was better today.”

Returning $16.20 for a $2 win wager, Randomized nearly tripled her lifetime earnings to $465,850 after banking $330,000 from her Alabama score.

Bred in Kentucky by Cove Springs, Randomized is out of the unraced Elusive Quality mare French Passport – a half-sister to graded stakes-winning millionaire Smooth Air and Grade 2 winner Overdriven. She is a direct descendant of Reine de Course mare Bold Irish.

The Alabama honors the prominent 19th century horse owner William Cottrell, who campaigned 1884 Kentucky Derby winner Buchanan. When asked to name a race after him in 1872, Cottrell declined and asked instead to name the race after his home state. As one of the oldest American stakes races for females, the historic test has seen many notable winners over the years, including Hall of Fame fillies Miss Woodford [1883], Beldame [1904], Top Flight [1932], Tempted [1958], Gamely [1967], Shuvee [1969], Mom’s Command [1985], Go for Wand [1990], Sky Beauty [1993], Heavenly Prize [1994], Silverbulletday [1999], Royal Delta [2011], and Songbird [2016].

Live racing resumes Sunday at Saratoga with 10-race card, featuring the $150,000 Bolton Landing in Race 4. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.