Review of American Oaks (G1T) at Santa Anita

Race 8. American Oaks , Grade I on turf. For three year-old fillies at 1 ¼ miles on turf. Purse $300,000.

Nine sophomore fillies entered this grass race, Kodiak West was an early scratch and it remains to be seen whether Amandine will run back after taking the Lady of Shamrock Stakes Dec. 26.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Colonia Joe Bravo Graham Motion 6/1
2 K P Pergoliscios Tyler Baze Jeff Mullins 20/1
3 Amandine Mike Smith Jeff Mullins 4/1
4 Princess Warrior Brian Hernandez, Jr. Kenneth McPeek 6/1
5 Paved Drayden Van Dyke Michael McCarthy 3/1
5 Retro Brice Blanc Richard Mandella 30/1
6 Competitionofideas Joel Rosario Chad  Brown 4/1
7 Californiagoldrush Flavien Prat Neil Drysdale 5/2

Along with other solid local fillies such as Paved and Californiagoldrush, the field also contains an interesting mix of runners who’ve been running in the Northeast and/or Midwest, notably Colonia , Princess Warrior and Competitionofideas .

The pace situation is uncertain due to a lack of true front-end speed, and such races on turf often unfold slowly and come down to who has the best closing kick.  Colonia should be the pace setter based on her most recent outing in the Pin Oak Valley View (GIIIT), in which she was held up off dawdling early fractions and rallied through heavy traffic to get up in time by a half-length over Get Explicit.

Princess Warrior beat Get Explicit in the Mrs. Revere (G2T).

Competitionofideas is making her graded stakes debut. After a late-summer freshening, she was improved winning maiden and preliminary allowance events with blinkers added.

Paved has never finished out of the exacta in five starts at Santa Anita, including a win in the nine-furlongs Honeymoon Stakes (Gr. II) in June. She but had reasons  in some of her poorer efforts. She is a capable filly. Look back at her performance in the 1 1/4 mile Rodeo Drive Stakes (Gr. I) at Santa Anita—facing older rivals. She showed a strong closing kick to challenge from mid-pack to run second to Vasilika. She has out run four-time graded stakes winner Cambodia, the Grade 1 winner Sophie P, and the recent Blushing K. D. Stakes winner Beau Recall.

Paved followed that effort with a twelfth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. I), but she was facing dramatically tougher competition that day while racing over a rain-soaked course. She had a “off” day.

She has run well going 1 1/4 miles at Santa Anita, at the Grade 1 level, is another reason to she can capture this race.

Our Top Three Picks

  • Paved
  • Californiagoldrush
  • Colonia

 

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