Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro) and jockey Mike Smith win the Coaching Club American Oaks (Gr I) at Saratoga
Fox Hill Farms’ Songbird breezed over the Saratoga Race Course main track Tuesday as she continued preparations for the Grade 1, $ 600,000 Alabama on August 20.
“Heavenly,” said Christina Jelm, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, when asked to describe the work.
After touring the paddock, Songbird worked five furlongs in 1:00.64 with exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez aboard. NYRA clockers caught the 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 ⅖, seven furlongs in 1:26, and one mile in 1:39 ⅗.
“She took off the pole really smooth and easy,” said Jelm. “She almost loped off the pole. That’s why Jerry likes to have Edgar breeze her; he breaks off nice and easy and slow and just lets her build momentum on her own. That’s what we did today. Edgar did a perfect job.”
Songbird, the 2015 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly, is unbeaten in nine starts and is exiting a 5 ¼-length victory in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 24. She has worked one other time since that race, working five furlongs in 1:00.81 on August 4.
“She’s definitely improving every day,” said Jelm. “Even just galloping the past couple of days Edgar’s arms have been a little sore. She’s definitely getting fit for this surface.”
Hollendorfer originally planned to breeze Songbird on Wednesday or Thursday for the 1 ¼-mile Alabama but moved up the workout due to the possibility of rain.
“It’s looking like [it will] rain late tonight and tomorrow morning, so we thought this was the safest bet,” said Jelm. “And, with the way she has been training, she was ready to work. She wanted to do something.”
Jelm said Songbird likely will have one more breeze before the Alabama, with the date to be decided later by Hollendorfer.
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