‘Still Growing’ Malathaat To Bypass Belmont Stakes, Point To CCA Oaks At Saratoga

Shadwell’s undefeated multiple Grade 1-winning 3-year-old filly Malathaat, winner of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) on April 30, will skip the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) on June 5 and point toward Saratoga. The ultimate plan for the Stonestreet-bred, Todd Pletcher-trained divisional leader is the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar, according to Shadwell Farm’s Vice President and General Manager Rick Nichols.

“Todd and I have talked and have elected to bypass the Belmont,” Nichols said. “She is a little light right now because she is still growing into the frame that she has. We want to give her a nice break and hopefully put some weight on her.

“We will point her toward the CCA Oaks at Saratoga, which is 12 weeks from the Kentucky Oaks,” he continued. “Then we will aim for the Alabama, which is the main target, four weeks later. Then we will be able to give her a nice 10-week breather and head toward the Breeders’ Cup.”

The $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) is scheduled for July 24 over the same nine furlongs of the Kentucky Oaks, while the $600,000 Alabama (G1) is slated for Aug. 21 over 10 furlongs.

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships take place on Nov. 5 and 6 at Del Mar. A specific race goal, either the $2 million Longines Distaff (G1) over nine furlongs or $6 million Longines Classic (G1) over 10 furlongs, will be determined at a later date.

In five perfect starts, the sophomore star has amassed $1,125,150 in earnings and four stakes wins, including graded scores in the aforementioned Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, G1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland and G2 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct. Her ‘6’ on the Ragozin Sheets from the Kentucky Oaks was equal to that of Medina Spirit one day later in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

Bred in Kentucky and a daughter of Stonestreet stars Curlin and Dreaming of Julia, the sizable filly was consigned by Denali Stud and purchased for $1,050,000 at Keeneland’s September Sale in 2019, one of the final in-person purchases of her late owner, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. She is already the third-highest earner for Shadwell’s 36-year US-based operation, trailing only Breeders’ Cup-winning champions Invasor and Lahudood.

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