Weekend Lineup Presented By NYRABets: All About The Fillies

This weekend’s graded stakes action is highlighted by a pair of Grade 1 races for sophomore fillies, the Alabama on dirt at Saratoga and the Del Mar Oaks on turf at Del Mar. The filly trend continues on Sunday in the $1 million Queen’s Plate, in which Woodbine Oaks winner Moira will take on 10 male rivals in the Canadian-bred feature.

The Alabama features the third meeting between Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath and CCA Oaks winner Nest, this time over 1 1/4 miles. Nest appears to be on the top of her game, but a better race setup could help Secret Oath rise to the top.

Graham Motion’s Royal Ascot runner-up Spendarella is the undeniable favorite for the Del Mar Oaks, despite a 14-horse lineup in the nine-furlong turf contest. The talented filly shipped West earlier this week and has been said to be settling in well.

Sunday’s highlight is the Queen’s Plate, drawing a field of 11 Ontario-bred sophomores to challenge for the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

Also worth noting that Saturday’s cards feature a couple big days for smaller tracks: the $250,000 St. Louis Derby at the former Fairmount Park, and the G3 Canadian Derby at Century Mile.

Here’s a quick look at some of this weekend’s graded stakes:

Saturday

4:26 p.m. – Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga

With The Moonlight will look to build upon a strong win in the G3 Saratoga Oaks Invitational as she returns just 13 days later in the Lake Placid. The Lake Placid will mark the third American start for the daughter of Frankel.

Chad Brown has four chances to secure a fourth win in this event as he sends out Consumer Spending, Dolce Zel, Eminent Victor and Haughty.

Lake Placid Entries

5:35 p.m. – Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga

Sophomore filly division leaders Nest and Secret Oath will go head-to-head for the third time this year, and second time this meet, in the Alabama. Both Nest and Secret Oath boast one victory over the other. After Secret Oath bested Nest in the G1 Kentucky Oaks on May 6 at Churchill Downs, the latter turned the tables on her foe in the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 23 at Saratoga.

Nest earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest for a 3-year-old filly this year, for her 12 1/4-length romp in the CCA Oaks for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. The astonishing score came following a run against the boys in the G1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on June 11, finishing a game second to stablemate Mo Donegal.

Like Nest, Secret Oath also contested colts on the Triple Crown trail when running a troubled fourth in the Grade 1 Preakness on May 21 at Pimlico following her Kentucky Oaks conquest. She was brushed at the break and checked approaching the first turn before launching a wide a bid around the far turn, but flattened out in mid-stretch. Secret Oath fell victim to another unfavorable trip in the CCA Oaks, where she was four-wide down the backstretch and moved a path wide into the far turn. Despite drifting in at the eighth pole, she still managed to hold place honors.

Alabama Entries

8:34 p.m. – Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks at Del Mar

The bay filly Spendarella will be racing on her fourth different turf track Saturday in only her fifth start, but the way she’s handled the traveling and racing so far in her brief career there’s little doubt she’s the one to beat in a 14-horse lineup of sophomore fillies in the Del Mar Oaks.

Spendarella, a New York-bred by the Japanese-bred sire Karakontie, has stakes wins at Gulfstream Park and Keeneland already on her ledger and she’s coming into Saturday’s race off a second-place finish to top European filly Inspiral in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 17. She is trained by one of America’s foremost conditioners, H. Graham Motion, and will be handled by top eastern rider Tyler Gaffalione.

A trio of other fillies appear best suited to test Spendarella. They are Cairo Memories, winner of a pair of graded grass stakes at the recent Santa Anita meet; Bellabel, winner of the key prep for the Oaks, the G2 San Clemente Stakes, at Del Mar on July 23, and French-bred filly Txope, who comes into the race off a tally on June 12 in the G2 German One Thousand Guineas in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Del Mar Oaks Entries

Sunday

5:42 p.m. – $1 million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine

Eleven hopefuls, including Woodbine Oaks winner Moira, and G3 Marine victor Rondure, will vie for top prize in the $1 million Queen’s Plate, first leg of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown.

Trainer Kevin Attard, seeking his first Plate triumph, will be represented by Moira. Fashioning a record of 3-1-0 from four starts, including wins in the Stella Artois Fury Stakes in June and the Woodbine Oaks, the latter a 10 ¾-length romp, Moira arrives at the Plate at the top of her game.

Rondure, who will have Flavien Prat in the irons, has been equally impressive in the leadup to Sunday’s race. Previously trained by Danny Vella, and now in the barn of Katerina Vassilieva, the Borders Racing Stable homebred turned heads after an emphatic 5 ½-length triumph in the G3 Marine on July 2.

Danny Vella, who won the 1994 Plate with Basqueian and the 2012 running with Strait of Dover, will go for the hat trick with The Minkster. The son of English Channel-Cabriole was undefeated in his three starts heading into the Plate Trial, when he suffered a setback dealing with heat exhaustion. Now, the bay colt, with regular rider David Moran once again aboard, will look to get back to his winning ways in the $1 million Canadian classic.

Queen’s Plate Entries

The post Weekend Lineup Presented By NYRABets: All About The Fillies appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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