Alda Wins Hilltop for Munnings
Making her second start of the year, Munnings' Alda (3f Munnings x Soldata, by Maria’s Mon) added a second stakes victory to her record in the Listed Hilltop Stakes at Pimlico.
Racing over a mile on the turf course, Alda was the leader of the second pack of horses as four fought for the lead open lengths ahead of her. The filly proved to be a professional as John Velazquez piloted her along the rail in the backstretch before asking her to swing wide around the turn.
That maneuver allowed Alda to have clear turf in front if her and she showed a strong kick to draw even with – and then pass – the leaders in a matter of strides.
While a pair of fillies closed late, the Wertheimer and Frere homebred was still running strong and crossed the line a neck in front of the second placed Seasons.
“[John Velazquez] had plenty of horse,” said trainer Graham Motion. “We liked her last year, she came really close in the Grade I in Canada. I probably misjudged her a little bit by sprinting her the last time. I thought we could get away with it. It obviously set her up well for today. I think this is what she wants to do.”
It was the second stakes victory for Alda, who was also second by less than a length in last year’s Grade I Natalma Stakes.
Alda is one of two stakes winners for Soldata alongside Group II winner Alignement. Soldata herself is a full sister to Grade II winner Exhi and Diluvien and out of the stakes winning Soldera. Soldera is a granddaughter of the great racemare and bluehen broodmare Fanfreluche.
Alda is the ninth stakes winner of the year for Munnings, putting him in third among all North American sires in 2021. Booked full this season, Munnings is also fifth by stakes horses and second by overall winners this year with 100 less starters than the leader.