Beverly R. Steinman’s homebred Market Alley found her best stride in Saratoga Race Course’s homestretch on Wednesday, overtook pacesetter Down Royal before the furlong pole, and rolled to a 3¼-length victory in the $75,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes.
Shadowfax Farm’s Down Royal finished second, 11½ lengths clear of Steinman’s Bullet Star. Virginia Lazenby’s Our Frosty finished fourth, another 9¾ lengths back, and The Fields Stable’s Dawn Wall took fifth in the 2 1/16-mile stakes for fillies and mares.
Sent to the starting line at 9.40-to-1, Market Alley paid $20.80 to win after running the distance in 3:50.20 on firm turf. The five-year-old Flower Alley mare out of Skirmish, by War Chant, is trained by Doug Fout.
Bernie Dalton gunned Down Royal away from the start and quickly opened a five-length lead as the field passed the finish line for the first time. Closest to the five-year-old Alphabet Soup mare was owner-trainer Jonathan Sheppard’s Wigwam Baby, favored at 1.35-to-1 after her score in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley Stakes on May 11.
Market Alley, who had finished fifth in the Henley, was placed in fourth initially by jockey Barry Foley and then moved into the third position when Bullet Star jumped awkwardly at the fence before the field passed the finish line on Saratoga’s inner turf course for a second time.
Down Royal and Wigwam Baby broke away from their opponents on the final run through the clubhouse turn. Ridden by Gerard Galligan, Wigwam Baby appeared to be poised for a winning move, but she jumped the next-to-last fence awkwardly and unseated the jockey.
Left alone on the lead, Down Royal set sail for the finish line, and the five-year-old New York-bred opened 10 lengths on the final turn.
Foley asked a bit more of Market Alley, and she responded with a steady advance that carried her to Down Royal in early stretch. Down Royal resisted but was beginning to tire, and Market Alley pulled away after the furlong marker to a comfortable victory.
The Mrs. Phipps’ was Market Alley’s second victory in 11 career starts. A maiden on the flat, she won a Foxfield Spring maiden hurdle on April 27.