TVG Coaching Club American OaksSaratoga Springs, N.Y. Saratoga Race Course
Skipping the Mother Goose so Stopchargingmaria would be ready for the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks proved to be a smart move by the filly’s connections when she won the July 20 race by five lengths.
Earlier in the week, trainer Todd Pletcher said that the decision was made to go to the Coaching Club American Oaks in order to get Stopchargingmaria a Grade 1 win, which would be easier in the Saratoga Race Course race. Stopchargingmaria proved that decision right when the field entered the far turn and she took the lead as they hit the stretch. Stopchargingmaria had an easy first part of the race, stalking the leaders in fractions of 24.03 and 48.08 during the first half before Javier Castellano asked her to make a move as they entered the far turn. The Tale of the Cat daughter took over the lead from Miss Besilu as the field straightened out with Castellano sitting still on the filly.
By mid-stretch, Stopchargingmaria was playing a game of ‘catch me if you can’. WhileUnbridled Forever made moves to put herself solidly in second she had no chance of catching Stopchargingmaria. The winning filly pulled away and made the race look like an early morning gallop, complete with pricked ears, covering the 1 1/8 miles in a time of 1:49.80. Unbridled Forever put on a show of her own, beating third place Miss Besilu by 4 ½ lengths.
"I told [owner] Mike [Repole] that this filly has never trained better than she has here in the last month. She seems to really like Saratoga. She has been training much more powerfully than she did this winter, so we expected a big effort from her," said Pletcher
"The huge thing was to win a Grade 1. A filly of her résumé to get that Grade 1 was huge. I thought she ran well enough today to certainly earn a spot in the [August 16] Alabama."
This is Stopchargingmaria’s second consecutive victory and fourth stakes victory. The filly started her career almost exactly a year ago, winning her debut by 5 ½ lengths on July 19, 2013 at Saratoga. The filly is trained by Todd Pletcher, who won his sixth Coaching Club American Oaks with this victory. Owned by Mike Repole’s Repole Stable, she was bought for $220,000 at a 2-year-olds in training sale after selling for $47,000 as a yearling.
The winner went off at odds of 6/5, paying $4.40 for a $2 win ticket. For an Equibase chart, click here.
First run in 1917, the Coaching Club American Oaks is one of the premiere races for 3-year-old fillies in the nation. The 1 1/8 mile race was named after the Coaching Club of America, whose membership requirement included the ability to handle a coach and four horses with a single group of reins. The race has been run at three different New York tracks and is currently part of the Saratoga meet.
The Coaching Club American Oaks was originally run at conditions that emulated England's Epsom Oaks, running at 12 furlongs in 1942-43, 1971-89, and 1998-2003. It has also run at 10 and 11 furlongs and is currently run at 9 furlongs, which was also the distance of the first edition of the race.
Jorge Velasquez and Jerry Bailey are both tied at most wins by a jockey with four while trainer James Fitzsimmons is the all-time winning trainer with five and Calumet Farm has the most wins with six. Great fillies such as Ruffian, Top Flight, Davona Dale, and My Flag have won the race in the past.
- Race Number: 10
- Date of Race: July 20, 2014
- Current Purse: $300,000
- Location: Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
- Track: Saratoga Race Course
- Distance: 1 1/8 miles
- Surface: dirt
- Horse Age: 3-year-olds, fillies
|Track ▼||Location ▼||Today's Races ▼|
- Fastest Time (since 1976): 1:49.15 (It's Tricky, 2011)
- Greatest Winning Margin (since 1976): 20 1/4 lengths
- Past Winners: