HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, July 25, 2021 – It is said that style makes prize fights. The same can be said about horse racing.
Before the Coaching Club American Oaks, handicappers would have been hard pressed to predict that Malathaat would be on the pace taking pressure. Lots of pressure.
First challenge came from the eventual winner, Maracuja, who caught a flyer from the gate, forcing Johnny Velazquez to maintain his pole position into and rounding the clubhouse turn.
Undefeated in five starts, none of those victories came wire to wire. After three furlongs, Irad Ortiz Jr. on strong second-favorite Clairiere moved up outside, hoping to pressure Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard the winner to apply even more pressure on Malathaat.
Almost simultaneously, Santana backed off and allowed Clairiere and Ortiz to be the presser. The CCAO, billed as a two-horse race between the favorites, became just that approaching the half-mile pole where the two fillies began to slug it out.
Meanwhile, Santana found a spot in the catbird seat, waiting until the quarter-pole was in his sights, pushed his filly into the 4-path where she took dead aim and ultimately proved best on the day.
All Malathaat lost yesterday was a horse race.
She met three challenges, couldn’t hold off the final one after posting realistic early fractions–23.75 and 47.13–but kept punching to the finish where the winner’s late momentum paid dividends in 1.49.29 for the nine furlongs.
Malathaat rates to move forward in a big way following her first race in 86 days. The Alabama fillies had better be tied on tight.
Babies-R-Us Stable Mail
Interesting week for the young ones. In Wednesday’s Rick Violette Stakes, Run Curtis Run got the money but when he meets Ready A.P. again, give me the latter. No knocks on ‘Curtis,’ who is now 2-for-2 lifetime and likely headed to the Hopeful.
Like Malathaat, Ready A.P. was taken out of the style that made her such an impressive winner of her debut making a sustained run of nearly three-eighths of a mile, unusual for any maiden, much less a young filly. She’s likely is headed to the Spinaway…
Thursday, July 22: A pair of juvenile fillies going 1-1/16 miles on grass caught the eye in race 5. Beyond the Map saved absolutely no ground at any time—not the way to win turf races. Well bet filly made a strong, wide-turn rally and continued gamely right to the end… Pizza Bianca, covered up nicely throughout, roared home to win it; future stakes player.
Derrynane finished like a wild horse! Considering it was a Clement trainee ridden by Rosario in a maiden turf sprint, no one was surprised; follow. Quick Power Nap was second best, but very good. For Lovely Lucky to finish as gamely and as well as she did at 11 furlongs indicates she’s a genuine stayer, a true marathoner…
Friday, July 23: Juvenile maiden Big Scully raced wide throughout from his outside draw in this sprint, hard-chased on the turn, and finished gamely in the 5-path through while swerving about greenly. Scopey type should go long. Sailor Speed was going very well at the finish in this same heat.
Big Everest had excellent energy in inner-turf mile, demonstrating a big turn of foot; note…
Saturday, July 24: Another 3 and up group of maidens going a mile on the inner turf; Freedomofthepress angled 6-7 wide into the lane and had every right to remain one-paced but kept chugging along. Grinder type will benefit. Eventually, Pathique settled into a rhythm but running off for the first half-mile didn’t help her chances any.
More maiden turfers going a mile on inner turf and when Ego Trip got going, he made the finish much tighter than one would have thought at headstretch; he won’t be a maiden for long.
The efforts of the CCAO exacta finishers notwithstanding, the best efforts of the day came in races nine and 10. Now that Bill Mott has her where he wants her, it’s clear that Caramel Swirl is a stakes winner in waiting. Her seven furlong allowance score caught the eye in a big way, finishing in hand through the final sixteenth in fast time. Extremely capable.
The camera shot of trainer Elizabeth Merryman was quite revealing as she watched her Caravel decimate turf sprinters in the G3 Caress.
After purchasing a major interest, new owner Bobby Flay will turn the horse over to Graham Motion, who will effort to get her into the BC Turf Sprint. Merryman retained part interest.
We’ve never seen tears of joy and sadness revealed in one expression. As a fan, I felt, at once, happy and sad for her. If you can find a replay of the Saratoga Live broadcast somewhere, why not see for yourself?