Coaching Club American Oaks

The Week in Review: Nest Belongs in the Travers

For Nest (Curlin), the easy route to the Breeders' Cup includes a stop in the GI Alabama Aug 20. It's a prestigious race, has a $600,000 purse and Nest would be an odds-on favorite against many of the same horses she thrashed Saturday in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks. But what fun is that? Owners Mike Repole, Michael House and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and trainer Todd Pletcher have already shown that they will think outside the box. They ran their filly in the GI Belmont S., where she finished...

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Background Check: CCA Oaks

In this continuing series, we examine the past winners of significant filly/mare races by the lasting influence they've had on the breed. Up today is the GI Coaching Club American Oaks, a significant 3-year old filly event on the Saratoga calendar. The CCA Oaks is one of the revered traditions in the sophomore filly ranks. Like so many other races that have a century's worth of history, it has changed both distances and venues multiple times. The race began at nine furlongs in 1917 and was shortened to that distance...

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'A Great Crowd Pleaser' as Hall of Famers Clash in CCA Oaks

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Though the GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday is short on depth, it is long on star power with Secret Oath (Arrogate) and D. Wayne Lukas taking on Nest (Curlin) and his long-ago former assistant Todd Pletcher. The rematch of the most accomplished 3-year-old fillies in the land puts two Hall of Fame trainers, very friendly rivals indeed, back together on the big stage of Saratoga Race Course. Seventy-nine days after Secret Oath beat favored Nest by two lengths in the GI Kentucky Oaks, the stars...

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The Week in Review: Do We Really Need So Many Stakes Races?

They could only scrape together a field of four for Saturday's GII Mother Goose S. at Belmont Park, run two weeks after they had a field of four in the GI Acorn S. Saturday's third race at Belmont fared no better. Only four went in the Wild Applause S., and three of them were trained by Chad Brown. And it isn't just a NYRA problem. The number of stakes run across the country that have attracted five horses or fewer is alarming. Since May 7, GI Kentucky Derby Day, there...

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Following Triple Crown Finale, Saratoga Dates for Belmont Runners

GI Belmont S. winner Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo) and GI Kentucky Derby Rich Strike (Keen Ice), sixth in Saturday's Belmont, will now be pointed towards the Aug. 27 GI Runhappy Travers S., connections confirmed Sunday morning. "I haven't really talked to the ownership group about it too much, but both of our Travers winners went through the Jim Dandy," Mo Donegal's trainer Todd Pletcher said Sunday. "So to me, if he has a prep between now and the Travers, that would make the most sense." The GII Jim Dandy will...

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Paris Lights Closes KEENOV Opener With a Bang

Bidding on behalf of Spendthrift Farm, Ned Toffey went to a session-topping $3.1 million to acquire Paris Lights (Curlin--Paris Bikini, by Bernardini) as the third-last horse through the ring as part of the supplemental catalog on the opening day of the Keeneland November Sale in Lexington. The 4-year-old filly, who was consigned to the sale by ELiTE, agent, went three-for-four as during her sophomore season, capping the campaign with a hard-fought head defeat of fellow WinStar Stablemates Racing colorbearer Crystal Ball (Malibu Moon) in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks...

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Maracuja a Standout for Beach Haven

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY-Even if she had not pulled off the biggest upset of the still-young Saratoga season Saturday afternoon, Maracuja (Honor Code) would have received a major dose of love from her owners Sunday morning. The gentle gray is, after all, Beach Haven Thoroughbreds's only horse. While her status in the stable didn't change, Maracuja's victory by a head over Malathaat (Curlin) in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks no doubt raised her stature in the 3-year-old filly division. She isn't likely to be the longest shot in the field...

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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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Lightly Raced Runners Loom Large in CCA Oaks

While two-time GSW Tonalist's Shape (Tonalist) is favored at 9-5 on the morning line for Saturday's GI Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, she'll have to fend off several well-bred and promising up-and-comers if she's to get the job done. Perhaps the most formidable challenger is WinStar Stablemates Racing's Paris Lights (Curlin). The Bill Mott trainee was third in a sloppy-track sprint at Gulfstream on debut Apr. 26, but took a big step forward to romp on the stretch-out at Churchill May 31 and then paired up 85 Beyer Speed...

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Joseph Sophomores Tune Up

A pair of sophomores from trainer Saffie Joseph's barn tuned up for graded stakes engagements with five-furlong works at Gulfstream Park Sunday. Ny Traffic (Cross Traffic), currently seventh in the Sept. 5 GI Kentucky Derby qualifying-points standings, breezed five furlongs in :58.64 (1/12) in preparation for a likely start in the July 18 GI Haskell S. at Monmouth Park. "I worked him Monday last week, so he came back in six days. I wanted to get a good work into him and he worked super. He finished up really good....

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