Randomized was hustled out of the gate by a determined Joel Rosario and once they had the lead they never looked back, winning the $600,000 Grade 1 Alabama Stakes presented by Keeneland Sales by four lengths Aug. 19 at Saratoga Race Course. The prestigious 1 1/4 race for 3-year-old fillies serves as a "Midsummer Oaks" of sorts, to borrow from the nickname for Saratoga's corresponding signature race for sophomore males, the Travers Stakes.
Favored Wet Paint, entering the Alabama off a win in the meet's earlier top-level race for 3-year-old fillies, the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks, saved ground throughout and came into the stretch through a massive opening on the rail to grab second but was no match for the winner. Defining Purpose, who chased Randomized through moderate early fractions, finished third.
Ranzomized's owner, Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables, is a businessman, hedge fund manager, generous philanthropist, and the owner of one of Thoroughbred racing's biggest and best stables. He also happens to know a thing or two about placing his horses in the right spot.
When it came time for trainer Chad Brown to enter horses in the Alabama, the four-time Eclipse Award winner was set to drop Juddmonte's Fireline in the entry box. Then Klarman suggested also entering Randomized. Brown wasn't immediately sold on the idea, but the more Brown mulled the possibilities, the more he came to see the wisdom in Klarman's suggestion.
"I have to give Seth Klarman a lot of credit," Brown said. "He kept looking at the race and saying how fast the filly is and we should consider running her. I was thinking of resting her for the Cotillion Stakes, (Grade 1, Sept. 23 at Parx Racing) at a mile and a sixteenth. As the race got closer, she was breezing well. so I decided to enter to look at the pace scenario. Then when we talked the other day he told me, 'If you're willing to do it, I have a good feeling about it.' He was right."
Breaking from post 8 in a field of 10, Rosario urged Randomized to the lead and crossed over to the rail before the first turn, then controlled the pace through fractions of :23.45, :47.86, and 1:12.33. They went wire-to-wire and completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.07.
Randomized entered the Alabama off a fast, front-running win in the Wilton Stakes, an ungraded stakes at the Spa after failing to fire in the race before in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes presented by Great Jones Distilling at Belmont Park.
"I was very disappointed by the Acorn. but I wasn't really discouraged because I knew how fast she had run," Brown said. "I don't think she appreciated the dirt in her face in the Acorn. The more I observed her training, I decided to give (jockey Joel Rosario) some instructions I learned from my good friend (Hall of Fame trainer) Bob Baffert. I said, 'I want clean silks when you come back.' I don't train that way. but it worked today."
Meanwhile, Godolphin's Grade 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks runner-up Wet Paint was closer to the pace than usual, running along the rail in third after the opening six furlongs.
Approaching the quarter pole, Randomized put away Defining Purpose and then dashed off to a 3 1/2-length lead in mid-stretch. Wet Paint moved into second leaving the eighth pole but could not gain ground over the 7-1 odds winner ($16.20).
Brown's other entrant, Fireline, finished eighth in the field of 10. Brown was uncertain of future plans for Randomized but did not rule out running in the originally planned $1 million Cotillion Stakes.