Owner Roddy Valente thought it was a thrill to participate in the Kentucky Oaks with Coach Rocks. But as a resident of New York’s Capital Region – he lives in nearby Loudonville – having her in the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga is more exciting.
“Just having the luxury to run in the Alabama in my backyard, it’s a thrill,” Valente said. “I thought the Kentucky Oaks was a rush. Being this is Saratoga, our hometown, it’s really going to be a fun day.”
According to Valente, ever since Coach Rocks won the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks in March, trainer Dale Romans has been talking her up as a filly for the Alabama. Coach Rocks is winless in her last three starts: a seventh to Monomoy Girl in the Kentucky Oaks and runner-up finishes to Red Ruby in the Black-Eyed Susan and Delaware Oaks.
“I’m trying not to get caught up in it,” Valente said. “Dale gets me so damn excited. Every time he calls me, I want to choke him. I’m just trying to keep it in perspective. He’s been preaching to us since we won the Oaks at Gulfstream. He’s mentioned the Alabama and she’s going to want to go longer, and that’s all he’s imbedded in us since she’s won that race. He called me the other day and said, ‘Rod, she couldn’t be doing any better. If you don’t have a new suit for the winner’s circle, you better go get one.’”
Valente owns Coach Rocks with Rick Pitino and West Point Thoroughbreds.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
Visit DRF.com for additional news, notes, wagering information, and more.