By this time, it is pretty obvious that The Alys Look likes the Fair Grounds track, where she broke her maiden on December 1 at the same distance as the Silverbulletday, a mile and 70 yards. In her next outing, she came from well off the pace to finish second in the Untapable Stakes over the same course and distance. There are now two questions concerning her as a potential Kentucky Oaks candidate: whether she can transfer her Fair Grounds form elsewhere, and whether she has room for further improvement.
Given that The Alys Look and Chop Chop both reached the mile in an uninspiring 1:39.13 and that The Alys Look was drifting out when she passed the wire in 1:43.55, improvement is going to be needed for both fillies if either is to be in contention for the lilies. Chop Chop, at least, probably needed the race, as she was making her first start of the year. The Alys Look, on the other hand, was unquestionably fit and has shown some nice improvement over the winter..
Connect, the sire of The Alys Look, scored his signature win in the 2016 Cigar Mile Handicap (USA-G1) and also picked up wins in the 2016 Pennsylvania Derby (USA-G2), beating a field that included Gun Runner, Nyquist, and Exaggerator, and in the 2017 Westchester Stakes (USA-G3). He won six of his eight starts, and his only finish out of the money was when he ran sixth behind Arrogate in the 2016 Travers Stakes, coming out of the race with a lung infection. Unfortunately, he came up with an injury following his season-opening win in the Westchester and was retired. The impression he left was of a high-class horse who was still maturing and could have made a very good 4-year-old.
On the other side of the pedigree, The Alys Look descends from a family that has had good opportunities with mixed results. She is the second foal of her dam Foul Play (by Harlan’s Holiday), whose first foal is an unplaced 2019 filly by Street Boss, Leave It Be. The mare’s only other produce is a 2021 filly by Mr. Speaker. Foul Play is a winner of one of her six starts and is a full sister to Stormy Holiday, a gelding that ran third in the 2013 Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn Park. She is also is a half sister to Grade 2-placed Top of Mind (by Curlin) and one other stakes-placed runner.
Foul Play is out of the Thunder Gulch mare Over the Edge, whose best performance came in winning the 2007 Cincinnati Trophy Stakes at Turfway Park. A half sister to In Kelly’s Defense (by First Defence), whose gelded son It’s a Wrap (by Twirling Candy) won the restricted Evangeline Mile Stakes in 2021, Over the Edge is one of four winners out of the winning Storm Cat mare Cyber Cat, whose Silver Deputy half brother Mr. Jester won the 2003 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes (USA-G3). The next dam, Future Pretense (by Fappiano), ran second in the 1993 Coaching Club American Oaks (USA-G1) and Alabama Stakes (USA-G1) and is a half sister to listed stakes winner Kafiristan (by Key to the Mint). As Foul Play, Over the Edge, and Cyber Cat all made seven or fewer starts, there is reason to question whether they had reached their full racing potential prior to retirement, but there is also reason to be concerned about durability.
The Alys Look is most likely to make her next appearance in the Fair Grounds Oaks (USA-G2), bypassing the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (USA-G2). A larger and better field and another forty yards of distance should help determine whether or not she is a nice filly who is moving forward at the right time and developing into a legitimate Kentucky Oaks contender.