Michael Dilger stood outside his well-kept courtyard complete with plush sod and neatly trimmed flowers and gave his honest take on the field for today's $100,000 Alydar Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
"There are years that this could have been the Whitney," the trainer said matter-of-factly.
Dilger's point was hardly an overstatement. A field of 12 competent stakes horses, many who faced most of the major players that ran in Saturday's Grade 1 Whitney Invitational, will contest the 1 1/8-mile stakes that stands on its own as a strong weekend feature.
Dilger trains one of the dozen, Mexikoma, who brings an interesting story to the third running of the Alydar. Two years ago Mexikoma was training with Dilger in his first Saratoga meet as a trainer. He was seventh in a two-turn grass maiden early in the meet and after the Saratoga season ended the son of Birdstone romped in a 1-mile maiden race at Delaware Park.
To read the rest of the Alydar preview, download Sunday's digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by Keeneland.