On the undercard of the Whitney Handicap, a field of nine three-year-old fillies went in the $250,000 Test Stakes (G1) at 7 furlongs.
Mitchell Ranchs Leave Me Alone wasted little time in giving trainer Eric Kruljac his first Grade 1 and first Saratoga Race Course victory on Saturday afternoon, as she carried jockey Kent Desormeaux to a 7 3/4-length victory. Against a field that also included Grade 1 winner Acey Deucey and some speedy fillies, the California-bred daughter of Bold Badgett quickly established herself on the lead, opened up at the quarter-pole and never looked back, outrunning her rivals through splits of :22 2/5; :45 2/5; 1:09 4/5 and coming home in 1:22 3/5. Her $2 win payoff was $10.80.
"She will rate, but I thought we were very dominant with the speed that she has," said Kruljac, an Arizonan who has trained in Southern California for 15 years. "My biggest concern, of course, was the 1-hole, but she keeps drawing the 1-hole and, at least sprinting, she runs very well from it. She was just a professional. Shes just getting better and better. Kent (Desormeaux) gave her a perfect ride. We thought there might be some `rabbits sent, but he was aware of that. She just got out there and relaxed so nicely for him. At the quarter-pole, she put them away."
"This was a very easy job for me; all I had to do was keep her between the fences, Desormeaux said. Leave Me Alone was left alone on the lead. She established it, because she is very fast and quick away from the gate. I was able to sit quietly on her until inside the quarter-pole, and then I asked her to stretch her legs and reach for the wire and she did that tenaciously. She dropped a few inches and you can tell that she really lengthened her stride. I encouraged her to give it her best - and you can see the results."
Trainer Nick Zito, who one race later won the days featured Whitney with Commentator, ran second and third here with Hide and Chic and In the Gold, respectively. He said, "I thought both of my fillies ran well, but no one was going to catch the winner. Gary (Stevens) told me (In the Gold) hit the gate at the start. Obviously, that didnt bother her that much because she was able to make a solid run around the far turn. As for Hide and Chic, she was beaten again by the winner."
Aspen Tree, Maddalena, Lady Pegasus, Pommes Frites, Acey Deucey and Sense of Style completed the order of finish, while Flying Glitter was scratched.