Big Names Battle in 2017 Alydar Stakes

2017 Alydar Stakes preview
Mohaymen is back in the action in the 2017 Alydar Stakes

It seems fitting that the 2017 Alydar Stakes would feature a field as competitive as this.

In terms of upside, Rally Cry seems like a fitting selection. The four-year-old colt is a son of Uncle Mo and despite finishing 6th at the Met Mile, has shown relatively well in training. He’s a curious selection but his 8/5 odds bode well in the eyes of the oddsmakers. He also finished 3rd in the 2016 Easy Goer to end his three-year-old season.

Breaking Lucky has been inserted early as an extremely narrow 7/2 second choice against a field of six total competitors in the 2017 Alydar Stakes. The five-year-old out of Canada was last out finishing third in the Stephen Foster Handicap but trainer Reade Baker warned that his star may not compete if the conditions turn against him.

“We won’t run if it’s muddy,” Baker said. “We could look at the Alydar but if it’s muddy for both days, we’re going home.”

It may not matter to racing fans if Breaking Lucky competes because there are two bigger draws in the race anyhow. Mohaymen will enter at 9/2 in the 2017 Alydar and attempt to reinvigorate a career that hasn’t seen a win since the 2016 Fountain of Youth Stakes. The electric five race win streak he began his career on seems like so long ago. His three straight 4th place finishes in the Florida Derby, Kentucky Derby and Jim Dandy Stakes last season were punctuated by a disappointing end to the 2016 campaign when he fell to 11th in the King’s Bishop.

This year, Mohaymen hasn’t been much better finishing fourth once again in the 2017 Westchester before dropping to 11th one more time in the Met Mile. Fans will be cheering for him, but it’s hard to remain confident in the Kiaran McLaughlin trainee.

Mo Tom comes in at 5/1 as another familiar name from the 2016 Kentucky Derby trail. His last victory was in the 2016 Ohio Derby, and since then he’s been fairly inconsistent. It’s unfortunate given his pedigree and his talent, but he might be trending in the right direction. Mo Tom has earned a third place finish in the 2017 Michael G. Shaefer Memorial Stakes after finishing 7th in the Stephen Foster Handicap.

Also entering the 2017 Alydar Stakes is Red Rifle, a seven-year-old gelding who hasn’t seen the winner’s circle in two years since winning the 2015 Bowing Green Handicap. His only stakes run this season was in the 2017 Elkhorn Stakes where he finished 5th at a distance of 1 1/2 miles. Since then it’s been a few shoddy finishes in a pair of allowance races.

Conquest Windycity is an 8/1 longshot and will likely be an even bigger longshot at the start of the race.

2017 Alydar Stakes – Sunday, August 6th at Saratoga Racetrack
1 1/8 Miles – 4+ Year Olds – $100,000

PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Mohaymen (KY) Junior Alvarado 123 Kiaran P. McLaughlin 9/2
2 Red Rifle (KY) Jose L. Ortiz 115 Todd A. Pletcher 4/1
3 Mo Tom (KY) Javier Castellano 123 Thomas M. Amoss 5/1
4 Conquest Windycity (KY) Luis Saez 117 Brendan P. Walsh 8/1
5 Breaking Lucky (ON) Luis Contreras 123 Reade Baker 7/2
6 Rally Cry (KY) John R. Velazquez 117 Todd A. Pletcher 8/5

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