Alagna aims for second Adios trophy
July 26, 2018
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Trainer Tony Alagna has a shot to win his second blanket of Adios orchids in three years--two shots, actually, as he'll send out both American History and Babes Dig Me in Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows.
Alagna captured the 2016 Adios with Racing Hill. His hopefuls for this year's 52nd edition are Adios elimination winner American History--the 5-2 morning line favorite--who goes from post 4 with Yannick Gingras up, and Babes Dig Me leaving from post 9 for Jim Pantaleano.
The blockbuster Adios Day card features five Grand Circuit stakes in addition to the Adios as well as three rich pool guarantees totaling $35,000. First post is 12 noon, with the Adios set for approximately 4 p.m.
American History, a son of American Ideal-Perfect Touch, was bred and sold at auction for $150,000 by Brittany Farms, which later bought back an interest in him from Marvin Katz and American History Racing. Among his credentials are a second-place finish in a Meadowlands Pace elimination and a show finish in an elim for the North America Cup.
However, the colt has been burned a number of times vying for the front in killer early fractions. In his Adios elimination, Gingras changed tactics, ducking before brushing to the point at the quarter. American History responded eagerly to the trip, opening a daylight lead before Gingras geared him down late.
"His best trip, the best trip for most horses, is to leave, sit and come with cover," Alagna says. "He has quick speed and can carry it a long way. As long as he doesn't have to scorch out fractions that are too unkind for him, he can do it from any trip."
As one of two elimination winners, Alagna had his choice of post positions for the final--once the connections of the other elim winner, Hitman Hill, won a draw for first choice and selected post 3. Although post 5 is the "winningest" slot at The Meadows, Alagna opted for post 4 at Gingras' recommendation.
"I always defer to the driver," Alagna says. "That's where Yannick wants to be. He feels it gives him the most options."
As for Babes Dig Me, who finished fourth in his Adios elim after leaving aggressively from post 8, Alagna is realistic about the chances of the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Babe campaigned by Bradley Grant, Joe Sbrocco, Robert Leblanc and In The Gym Partners.
"From that post, it's tough to expect a whole lot," he says. "He can definitely leave for position, but so can a lot of others. It's a matter of, do we really want to be that hard on a horse two weeks in a row?" (The Meadows)