CCA Oaks

Maracuja Upsets Malathaat In CCA Oaks

With a perfect five-for-five record topped by an impressive score in the GI Kentucky Oaks, 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) was bet like she could not lose a four-horse renewal of Saratoga's GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday. However, in the final strides of the nine-furlong event, it was the longest shot on the board, 14-1 shot Maracuja (Honor Code), who dethroned the mighty Malathaat with a narrow upset. All four broke in tandem with Malathaat assuming a narrow lead rounding the clubhouse turn. Maracuja kept the favorite honest through...

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Malathaat Tops Short Field in CCA Oaks

Undefeated divisional leader Malathaat (Curlin) headlines a four-horse renewal of Saratoga's prestigious GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday. A perfect five-for-five, the 'TDN Rising Star' kicked off 2021 with a gutsy score in the GI Central Bank Ashland S. at Keeneland Apr. 3 and rallied to victory in the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks last out Apr. 30, defeating next-out GI Acorn S. heroine Search Results (Flatter) by a hard-fought neck. "She's a very gifted filly," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "She's just been perfect so far and she's a pleasure to...

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Spa Notebook: Essential Quality Tunes Up for Jim Dandy

Champion Essential Quality (Tapit) drilled five furlongs over the Saratoga main track in 1:01.81 (7/13) Saturday morning, two weeks out from his expected start in the GII Jim Dandy S. at the Spa. Last seen outgaming Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) in the GI Belmont S. June 5, the Godolphin-owned 'TDN Rising Star' worked in the company of New York-bred maiden winner Bingo John (Oxbow) and was caught in sectional times of :25 flate and :48.3 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.2 and seven-eighths in 1:28.3. "It was a solid...

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Malathaat Pointing for CCA Oaks

Undefeated 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) will make her next start in Saratoga's GI CCA Oaks July 24 instead of the June 5 GI Belmont S., which was initially under consideration following her Apr. 30 GI Kentucky Oaks victory. The long range goal for the regally bred filly is the Breeders' Cup in November at Del Mar. "Todd [Pletcher] and I have talked and have elected to bypass the Belmont," Shadwell's Rick Nichols said. "She is a little light right now because she is still growing into the frame that...

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Curlin's Paris Lights Wins CCA Oaks Stretch Duel

Paris Lights (Curlin), an impressive winner of two straight at Churchill Downs, made her stakes debut a winning one with a ultra-game decision in Saturday's GI Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga. The 2-1 chance pressed runaway Bob Baffert-trained Santa Anita maiden winner Crystal Ball (Malibu Moon) from second through fractions of :24.43 and :47.82, and turned up the pressure as they hit the quarter pole. Paris Lights and Crystal Ball, both owned by WinStar Stablemates Racing, turned for home on even terms, and after a dramatic stretch duel, it...

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Saratoga Stakes Added to Road to Derby and Oaks

With the GI Kentucky Derby moved to Sept. 5 and the GI Kentucky Oaks pushed to Sept. 4, a quartet of Saratoga stakes will be added to the qualifying prep races. The GIII Peter Pan S. July 16 and the GI Traver S. Aug., 8 will be part of the Road to the Derby at 100 and 50 points, respectively. Added to the Oaks trail are the GI CCA Oaks July 18 and the GI Alabama S. Aug. 15, both 100 points. Churchill Downs has also announced three additional Derby...

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