Maracuja Breezes In Preparation For Alabama At Saratoga - Horse Racing News

Maracuja wins the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga.

Beach Haven Thoroughbreds’ Maracuja completed her preparations for Saturday’s $600,000 Grade 1 Alabama with a solid half-mile breeze Sunday on the Spa main track.

Trained by Rob Atras, the daughter of third crop sire Honor Code went to the track at 6:00 a.m. and breezed in :49.61. This was her second work back since upsetting Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks-winner Malathaat in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 24 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

“She worked a half-mile in 49 and change and galloped out nicely,” Atras said of the work. “She went in company with an unraced 2-year-old. They just went head-and-head.”

One start prior to the CCA Oaks, Maracuja exited post 2 in a 13-horse field in the Kentucky Oaks in April at Churchill Downs and closed up the rail for seventh in a race won by Malathaat by a neck over Search Results.

In a compact field of four assembled for the CCA Oaks, Maracuja tracked closer to the pace in third under Ricardo Santana, Jr. and battled gamely to the wire to best Malathaat, who was pressed throughout, by a head.

“The way Malathaat had to run last time compromised her, I thought,” Atras said. “It won’t be an easy task to run against her again. Ultimately, I’ll leave it up to Ricardo. Hopefully, she will get the same kind of break and see how the race sets up. You never know how tricky it can be with a short field with not much pace.”

Boasting a consistent 6-2-2-1 record and $407,100 in lifetime earnings, Maracuja broke her maiden at third asking going 6 ½ furlongs at Aqueduct Race Track in Ozone Park, N.Y., before finishing second in the Grade 3 Gazelle on April 3 at the Big A.

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