Grade 1 Winner Perfect Alibi ‘Coming Along,’ Could Target Delayed Kentucky Oaks

Tracy Farmer’s Grade 1-winner Perfect Alibi, trained by Mark Casse, breezed a half-mile in 49.50 Friday on the Belmont Park training track under the watchful eye of assistant Jamie Begg.

Bred in Kentucky by Pin Oak Stud, the dark bay daughter of Sky Mesa won the Grade 2 Adirondack at 6 ½-furlongs and Grade 1 Spinaway at seven furlongs at Saratoga Race Course last summer. Following a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland in October, Perfect Alibi completed a sensational juvenile campaign with a fourth-place effort in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita Park.

“She’s doing well. This was her second work since we brought her up here from Florida,” said Begg, who oversees a stable of 22 horses at Belmont for Casse. “She’s not an electrifying work horse, but we just have to keep her coming along as she hasn’t raced since the Juvenile Fillies. She had a few little issues when I got her here, but nothing major. She’s doing really well.”

Perfect Alibi currently sits 25th on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard with six points.

“She’s a big filly and she’s always trained like a horse that would keep getting better as the races got longer,” said Begg. “If we can get her fit, there’s good races for her depending how the stakes schedule works out.”

Although her graded-stakes wins came in sprint efforts, Begg said the sizable filly should appreciate a distance of ground.

“The tracks later on in her 2-year-old year at Keeneland and Santa Anita weren’t to her liking. They were both speed favoring,” said Begg. “I think her wins at Saratoga had more to do with the set up of the races, rather than her being a come-from-behind sprinter.

“In the morning you don’t get a good gauge of her,” continued Begg. “She barely wins her works. Leading into the Adirondack we actually worked her on the grass to see if maybe she was a better grass horse, but she worked the same on the grass as the dirt. She just runs her eyeballs out in the afternoon. I do think she’s the type that wants to go long.”

With the Kentucky Oaks now moved to September 4th due to complications of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Begg said it will allow Perfect Alibi time to get fit and mature for her sophomore campaign.

“It helps her as we probably wouldn’t have made the Oaks,” said Begg. “We still have to get a race under her belt and get some points. For now, we’ll get her close to ready to run and see what’s out there.”

Tracy Farmer’s reigning Grade 1 Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston is back training at Belmont Park after returning from Dubai where he was a contender for the Group 1 Dubai World Cup which was canceled due to the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Sir Winston, who has never left the gate as the favorite in his 12-race career, was a rallying second in the Grade 3 Peter Pan heading into his Belmont Stakes effort where he bested Tacitus by a length at odds of 10-1.

Begg said the Peter Pan effort was a confidence booster for both the horse and connections.

“We really thought the mile and a half would allow him to show his best self,” said Begg. “He always made moves in races that made you think he could be a nice horse, it just never all came together. After his Peter Pan, the confidence in him was a lot higher.”

Sir Winston hasn’t raced since capturing an optional-claiming tilt on January 31 at the Big A, a one-turn mile where he broke last of seven, but rallied to win by 2 ¼ lengths while garnering a 93 Beyer Speed Figure.

“He’s doing good. It looked like the Dubai trip took something out of him weight wise when he first shipped in, but he’s actually come around and put that weight back on,” said Begg. “We’ve galloped him a few days and mentally the trip didn’t seem to take too much out of him.”

Begg said the last-out Aqueduct win, which came on the back of an off-the-board effort in his turf stakes debut in the Woodchopper at Fair Grounds, demonstrated that Sir Winston is back in form.

“We went in there with the idea of throwing that Fair Grounds race out because it was off the layoff and on a soft turf,” said Begg. “It was definitely a relief when he ran back better at Aqueduct because you never know how they’ll come back.

“It’s unfortunate the Dubai World Cup cancelled as he was starting to do well leading into the race,” added Begg. “We had Frankie Dettori lined up to ride him and that would have been a neat opportunity to see what he could do on the horse.”

The post Grade 1 Winner Perfect Alibi ‘Coming Along,’ Could Target Delayed Kentucky Oaks appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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