Notes & Quotes From the G1 Spinaway Stakes: Perfect Alibi

(Perfect Alibi wins the G1 Spinaway / Photo by Chelsea Durand & Courtesy of NYRA)

From the NYRA Media Team:

Tracy Farmer’s Perfect Alibi linked up with 9-5 favorite Frank’s Rockette in the stretch and prevailed with a strong rail-riding push by jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. to overtake her rival in the final sixteenth, clearing away by 1 ¼ lengths to win the 128th running of the Grade 1, $350,000 Spinaway for juvenile fillies on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.

Before the draw, Perfect Alibi trainer Mark Casse said he preferred an off-the-pace trip akin to one she used to win the Grade 2 Adirondack on August 4. The Canadian Hall of Fame conditioner got his wish, with Perfect Alibi rating second-last as Mundaye Call led the seven-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 22.65 seconds, with the half in 45.45 on the fast main track.

Trainer Mark Casse — Perfect Alibi (1st):

“She amazes me because she’s just so laid back and doesn’t get excited about anything. When the gate opens, she’s tough,” said Casse, who won the Spinaway for the second time after Pretty City Dancer dead-heated Sweet Loretta in 2016. “I wasn’t sure if she was going to get through [on the rail]. I knew if she could just get her head in front, she would probably be fine. What a nice filly.

“This filly is just a fighter. She keeps coming,” he added. “I think the farther she runs, the better she likes it.”

Casse said a pair of Grade 1 races that serve as “Win and You’re In” qualifiers to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in November at Santa Anita Park remain a possibility for her next spot, including the $400,00 Frizette at one mile on October 6 at Belmont Park or the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades on October 4 at Keeneland.

Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. — Perfect Alibi:

“She has a lot of heart. She showed she had a lot of fight in her last time out as well,” said Ortiz, Jr., who piloted Pretty City Dancer three years ago and also won the Spinaway with Lady Ivanka in 2017. “So, I wasn’t afraid to make that tight space [along the rail] with her. I didn’t have too many options and when I saw the space along the rail, I went for it.”

Jockery Julien Leparoux — Frank’s Rockette (2nd):

Frank’s Rockette, one of four Into Mischief fillies in the race, was five lengths clear of Figure of Speech for second. The trainee of Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who posted an 8 ¾-length win in her debut on June 21 at Churchill Downs, earned a pair of second-place graded stakes effort for the Saratoga meet.

“She ran a good race as planned,” Leparoux said. “I think the distance might have got me today. Other than that, she ran a good race. It looks like, so far, she might want to go a little shorter. Maybe keep her at six, six and a half [furlongs]. She can do seven [furlongs], but she got a little tired.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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