Nest is firmly in the driver’s seat for champion three-year-old filly honors after another electric win at Saratoga, this time in the $600,000 Alabama S. (G1) on Saturday.
The odds-on favorite in the Alabama off of a 12 1/4-length romp in last month’s Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), Nest looked no less authoritative when taking Saturday’s historic 1 1/4-mile fixture by 4 1/4 lengths.
Working her way into second entering the backside, Nest tracked longshot pacesetter She’s Keen through the opening six furlongs. Taking the lead on the far turn and then drifting out into the middle of the track entering the stretch, Nest turned on the afterburners down the lane to earn her third Grade 1 win of the year under Irad Ortiz Jr.
“That was a special performance today. To see her come back and it seemed like she hardly drew a deep breath,” trainer Todd Pletcher said.
Owned by Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Michael House, Nest returned $2.70 after completing the fast-track course in 2:03.14
Secret Oath, who had defeated Nest in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) but has now lost two straight to that rival, finished a clear second in the Alabama by two lengths over 22-1 longshot Goddess of Fire, a stablemate of Nest’s. Skratch Kat finished fourth and was followed by Gerrymander, Nostalgic, and She’s Keen.
Nest has now earned $1,735,550 from a record of 9-6-2-1. In addition to her two wins at Saratoga this summer, Nest captured the Ashland (G1) and Suncoast S. earlier this year. Following her loss as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks, she finished second in the Belmont S. (G1) behind stablemate Mo Donegal. Last season, Nest won two of three starts, including the Demoiselle (G2). Her lone setback was a third in the Tempted S. to Gerrymander.
“Obviously, the Breeders’ Cup (at Keeneland on Nov. 5) is the main target so now we have to figure out if we want to run once in between now and then or how we’ll do it,” Pletcher said. “We’ll assess how she comes out of it first and come up with a game plan.”
Nest is by Curlin and out of the stakes-winning Marion Ravenwood, by A.P. Indy. She’s a full sister to Santa Anita H. (G1) winner Idol. Bred in Kentucky by Ashview Farm and Colts Neck Stables, she sold for $350,000 at Keeneland September.