Alabama Stakes Odds & Picks: Saturday’s Best Bets at Saratoga Race Course is an independent sports news and information service. has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. When you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site, Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company. Although the relationships we have with sportsbook companies may influence the order in which we place companies on the site, all reviews, recommendations, and opinions are wholly our own. They are the recommendations from our authors and contributors who are avid sports fans themselves.

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The $600,000 Alabama Stakes is a major showcase for 3-year-old fillies, who, like their male counterparts, have taken turns besting each other in this competitive campaign. Here is a look at the major contenders, odds, betting analysis, and a couple of picks.

The race has a 5:45 p.m. ET post time Saturday at Saratoga.

Nationwide bettors can access the action via the top horse racing apps, including FanDuel Racing.

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Odds, Picks & Betting Overview for Saturday’s Alabama Stakes

Here is the field for the $600,000 Grade 1 Alabama Stakes, including post positions, morning-line odds, jockeys, and trainers.

EntryJockeyTrainerMorning-Line Odds
PP. 1 Sacred WishJohn VelazquezGeorge Weaver8-1
PP. 2 Wet PaintFlavien PratBrad Cox5-2
PP. 3 Julia ShiningLuis SaezTodd Pletcher9-2
PP. 4 Sabra TuffReylu GutierrezDallas Stewart30-1
PP. 5 FirelineJavier CastellanoChad Brown12-1
PP. 6 Chocolate GelatoJose OrtizTodd Pletcher12-1
PP. 7 Gambling GirlIrad Ortiz Jr.Todd Pletcher6-1
PP. 8 RandomizedJoel RosarioChad Brown8-1
PP. 9 TaxedRafael BejaranoRandy Morse8-1
PP. 10 Defining PurposeBrian Hernandez Jr.Kenny McPeek6-1

Betting Considerations for Alabama Stakes

Keep an open mind along with an open wallet. None of these competitors have gone this 1 1-4-mile distance. Some may like it, while others will be hurt by it.

This is the type of setup that often breeds surprises.

Just two weeks ago, Cody’s Wish had nothing left at a new distance of 1 1 -8 miles and flopped at 2-to-5 betting odds in the Whitney, finishing third.

Contenders in this race have come up big at different times. Looks players will develop an angle on who they think looks ready in the post-parade 10 minutes out.

Major Alabama Stakes Contenders

Flavien Prat rides Wet Paint onto the track for the 149th running of the Kentucky Oaks horse race at Churchill Downs Friday, May 5, 2023, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Flavien Prat rides Wet Paint (here before the 2023 Kentucky Oaks), the favorite to win the Alabama Stakes. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

No. 1 Sacred Wish

Delivered a fantastic effort in the Coaching Club, nearly snaring the $500,000 event before being nipped at the wire by Wet Paint. Made a smart stalking move at 10-1, was just overrun by a talented opponent.

No. 2 Wet Paint

Terrific run to overhaul Sacred Wish in the Coaching Club. Both horses left Gambling Girl in their dust, a distant third.  Has an exceptional record in her young career. Will be considered the one to beat. May go off short money, which is no bargain for a distance nobody in the field has done.

Makes late major moves, but often starts from the back. Price will be important. In a big field, should be longer than even-money, perhaps in the 7-5 or 8-5 range. But if bettors make her shorter than that, many gamblers will seek exotics wagering.

No. 3 Julia Shining

Lightly raced, has not competed since the Ashland in early April. Won the Demoiselle at 1 1-8 miles in New York at second asking. Made a good rally in the Ashland, finishing 2 1-2 lengths behind longshot winner Defining Purpose.

Credentials. Layoff could be a concern. Nothing says she can’t be in the exotics ticket.

N0. 10 Defining Purpose

Delivered a rousing 20-1 upset in the Grade I Ashland, nipping Julia Shining. Later buried by Gambling Girl in the Kentucky Oaks and came back to win the Indiana Oaks.

Argument can be made that 1 1-16 miles is her top distance but otherwise has been able to compete with these horses. Major distance jump needed, but should be a big price.

No. 9 Taxed

Brilliant performance at 10-1 to win the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico. Beat Sacred Wish, a contender in this field. On her best, is right with these. Backers can hope that the Wet Paint hype lets Taxed slide down into the range of being a price.

No. 7 Gambling Girl

Just didn’t have it in the American Coaching Club. Spit the bit early in the homestretch. Backers will remember her second in the Kentucky Oaks and give her a pass. Skeptics will consider her a horse that has hit her peak and may be over-bet.

On the Fringes at Alabama Stakes

No. 8 Randomized

Domineering performance in winning the minor-stakes Wilton at Saratoga. Only a four-horse field, but she surged to the lead under Irad Ortiz and wired the group. Managed a 97 Beyer.

Figures to set the pace in the larger field. May be pressured by Defining Purpose. Could be in trouble if anyone presses. Ortiz goes off of her and takes Gambling Girl. That’s not an endorsement.

If she gets an unpressured lead, could stay in the trifecta ticket.

Alabama Stakes Non-Contenders

You have to draw a line someplace. These are the three I can’t make room for on my win ticket.

No. 4 Sabra Tuff

Beaten by Wonder Wheel and Pretty Mischievous. Has not won in last eight. Not as good as these.

No. 5 Fireline

Bet down to 3-5 in the Grade III Delaware Oaks and was clearly beaten. Connections must believe that race was merely a stumble. On paper, does not fit.

No. 6 Chocolate Gelato

Promising victory in the Frizette offset by 12th place finish in the Breeders’ Cup. Took a layoff and came back with a six-furlong race. Does not seem ready yet.

Alabama Stakes Picks

Here are some bets to consider for Saturday’s Alabama.

Win Wager

Will reserve until post time. I like Wet Paint at 8-5 or above for a small play, but will not invest at a lower price.

Backup Bet: 1 (Sacred Wish).
Rationale: Just missed in last and could be a good price.

Spot-Play Stab: 9 (Taxed).
Rationale: I love the Pimlico race and will put a couple bucks there if Wet Paint is prohibitive. Second-itis for sure, especially to Wet Paint, but you never know when the day comes that Wet Paint waits too long to make the big move.

Exacta Wager

Box: 1-2 (Sacred Wish, Wet Paint).
Cost: $4 for every $2 exacta box.
Rationale: I’ll bite. They staged a terrific duel in the Coaching Club and would leave the field behind if they could come back to that effort.
Disclaimer: Did they leave their best race on the track that day? What did it take out of them? That was back on July 22, has enough time passed for them to run their best again?

Cover Box: 2-9 (Wet Paint, Taxed).
Cost: $4 for every $2 box.
Rationale: Taxed beat Sacred Wish in an earlier race. Nothing says he can’t do it again and combine with the most proven horse in the race.

Trifecta Wager

Box: 1-2-9 (Sacred Wish, Wet Paint, Taxed).
Cost: $6.
Rationale: A hunch that Taxed can hit the board.

50-cent Trifecta Box: 1-2-9-10 (Sacred Wish, Wet Paint,  Taxed, Defining Purpose).
Cost: $12.
Rationale: Hard to separate top group. Looks like Defining Purpose will get the first crack at Randomize.

Good luck hitting this. There should be some good prices, especially underneath, as bettors wonder who will be Queen for a Day.

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About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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