Grade I Alabama Stakes to Stopchargingmaria
Top class filly Stopchargingmaria (3f Tale of the Cat x Exotic Bloom, by Montbrook) made it back to back Grade I wins when taking out the Grade I Alabama Stakes at Saratoga after winning the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks at the same track last month. Prepared by Todd Pletcher, Stopchargingmaria was sent out favourite and found the line strongly in the 1 1/4 mile contest to win by three-quarters of a length. “She was a little bit keen the first part of the race,” said winning rider John Velazquez. “Today I was actually taking her back, trying to get her to relax behind other horses. “Every time I asked her for a little bit more, she was giving it to me." A $220,000 purchase from the OBS March 2YO Sale, Stopchargingmaria runs for Repole Stable and has banked over $1.4 million for her owners in winning six of 10 starts. "She's in the mix [for championship honors] now,” said Todd Pletcher. “We've got to keep winning. I'm not sure the [Sept. 20 GI] Cotillion [at Parx] is the race we'll choose. Maybe we'll go to the [GI] Beldame [Invitational S. at Belmont Sept. 27]. We'll just have to see how she comes out of this. It probably will be one of those." Stopchargingmaria is the first winner for stakes-winner Exotic Bloom, who comes from the family of Grade II winners Vision and Verse and Bourbon Bay. She is one of 10 Grade I winners for evergreen sire Tale of the Cat.