Updated on 06/26/2013 8:18AM

Belmont Park: Coaching Club American Oaks likely to draw top fillies

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Barbara D. Livingston
Kentucky Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar breezed a half-mile in 48.29 seconds Sunday and might run in the July 20 Coaching Club American Oaks.

ELMONT, N.Y. – The top 3-year-old fillies on the East Coast could be headed for a showdown in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 20 at Saratoga, their connections indicated Sunday.

Close Hatches, the 7 1/4-length winner of Saturday’s Grade 1 Mother Goose over 1-5 favorite Dreaming of Julia, is expected to make her next start in the $300,000 Coaching Club, a 1 1/8-mile race around two turns, trainer Bill Mott said.

Mott said Saturday that if Close Hatches is doing as well in the weeks leading up to that race as she was heading into Saturday’s Mother Goose, he would see no reason not to run.

On Sunday, he felt Close Hatches came out of the Mother Goose in good order.

“She looks great; I’m happy,” Mott told the New York Racing Association.

Close Hatches earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.

Close Hatches, a Juddmonte Farms homebred daughter of First Defence, is 4 for 6 with wins in the Mother Goose over Dreaming of Julia and the Grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct over Princess of Sylmar. Both of those fillies finished ahead of Close Hatches in the Kentucky Oaks, won by Princess of Sylmar, with Dreaming of Julia checking in a troubled fourth.

On Saturday, Dreaming of Julia was expected to make amends in the Mother Goose, but she appeared uncomfortable while racing between horses, got shuffled back to last on the far turn, and, after being taken five wide at the top of the lane by John Velazquez, she did show mild interest late to get second place over Marathon Lady.

On Sunday, trainer Todd Pletcher said Dreaming of Julia came out of the race in good shape and that the Coaching Club is an option, as is waiting for the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama on Aug. 17.

“She came out of it well, looks good. We’ll ship her up to Saratoga and regroup and see how she trains,” Pletcher said Sunday as he himself was driving up to Saratoga. “The Coaching Club is a possibility. The Alabama is a possibility. Both are possibilities.”

Princess of Sylmar is 3 for 4 this year, with wins in the Busher and Busanda stakes over Aqueduct’s inner track as well her 36-1 upset in the Kentucky Oaks.

On Sunday, she had her fourth work since the Oaks, breezing a half-mile in 48.29 seconds over the training track in company with Teen Pauline.

“She worked great, looked very good, galloped out super,” Pletcher said. “It certainly looks as though the Oaks form is holding up.”

Pletcher said Princess of Sylmar also is being pointed for the Coaching Club Oaks and Alabama.

Close Hatches, seventh in the Oaks, won the Mother Goose, while Midnight Lucky, fifth in the Oaks, won the Grade 1 Acorn over Close Hatches.

Princess of Sylmar, Dreaming of Julia, Cross Traffic, the Metropolitan Handicap runner-up who worked a half-mile in 50.20 on Sunday, and Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice all were scheduled to ship to Saratoga on Monday morning.

mikey More than 1 year ago
Just shortened all the races to 2 furlongs. That is where the breeding is headed anyways.
Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
i kid you not on the following post.do not know if anyone has heard it.do not know how many of you are NY residents.NYRA has a show on the off days called raceday.they stream the simulcast tracks.the co host made a statement that pletchers assistant said the problem on saturday was that she got spooked by a motorcycle.this is not a prank post.the co host even asked migliore ,the other host to comment.he said he did not hear about it.i know i have not been DOJ #1 supporter.but just wondering if anyone picked it up in any tweet.
B More than 1 year ago
That's about the most lame excuse yet to come out of the Pletcher barn. Or maybe any barn.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
Seems he tries to get more creative when his horses lose. DOJ reminds me of FuPeg, if it didn't come easy, he never won.
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
Wake up people--this race has not been 1-1\2 miles for a long time.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
NO but it WAS 10f and that was fine. But 9f, forget it.
Old timer More than 1 year ago
I have to agree with not impressed, they have shortened this race a couple of times. It used to be 1 1/2 miles at Belmont and was a sort of Belmont Stakes for the fillies. It was something different at least. You had the filly "Triple Tiara" of the Acorn, Mother Goose, and CCA Oaks. Then they moved it to Saratoga. With the Alabama so close, this race makes no sense now. Plus why does the DRF headline read "Belmont Park" when the race is at Saratoga?
not impressed More than 1 year ago
I'm still mad this race got shortened last year. Was one of my favorite races until that happened. So I won't be watching...
B More than 1 year ago
This race hasn't been a mile and a half in 10 years.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
It WAS 10f and I could live with that. When it went from 10f to 9f, I lost interest.
John More than 1 year ago
Well, I had one of those days yesterday at HollywoodPark, the ONLY tickets I cashed were scratches..............., so please dont ask me for my selections, I pretty much suck after all these years ! If Baffert sends Midnight Lucky to this race, expect a change in tactics, she wont go out in 22.3/5 45.4/5.....................she is learning, FINALLY to sit early instead of gunning .........! Getting interesting heading to Nov 2, we really dont have any standouts except for Wise Dan(turf) but they are talking Classic this year ! Good Luck everyone....................see you in the "cashiers line"
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Midnight Lucky didn't learn anything, she was taken out of her best running style in the Oaks because Baffert gave instructions to gun her to the lead. A huge mistake and all was lost the first 100 yards. In the Acorn she was allowed to settle off the early pace, and comfortable within herself she ran huge. So now that Baffert is the one who learned something, he is pointing her to the ladies sprint races. And you think it's the filly that learned something? And Baffert learned nothing.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Oh, and they are not talking Classic with Wise Dan. They were thinking about it only if Successful Dan won the Foster. He didn't and they went back to a turf campaign for Wise Dan, at least for now.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Am I the only one thinking Dreaming Of Julia appeared very unwilling to hit the hole Saturday that appeared to be there for a furlong ? I am one who thinks when that idiot Calvin Borel on Rose To Gold slammed into her & shut her off in the Oaks that it still messing with her head.Don't blame Velazquez for the ride,blame Calvin Borel for a careless ride in the Oaks mugging Dreaming Of Julia.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Two marks
John Smith More than 1 year ago
With that being said. Who hates Calvin Borel more, Dreaming Of Julia or Javier Castellano? I heard that after the Oaks, DOJ wanted to fight Borel. It reminded me of the Breeders Cup fiasco. I say we just turn the winners circle into a boxing ring and watch the interest in horse racing soar. Please dont give Don King a trainers license.
Perl More than 1 year ago
She had a tough trip in and among horses. It's possible she isn't the most gutsy of animals. Also she's still reacting to the huge performance at GP and she's a bet-against until she has a layoff.
B More than 1 year ago
Man, this loss has stirred up some heat! So she is not as good as many thought she was and Velazquez rode a terrible race. It happens. Life will go on.
You Feel Lucky More than 1 year ago
Mallios Dude.....your act is getting old. So a horse lost a race.....it happens. Post some of the horses your betting on , before the race, and then we can nitpick your losers.
Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
first of all its not dude,what are you in high school.2nd what i play is my buisiness.you have an ego,post to all
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Don't agree with everything you post, but i do agree with this comment. "dude", "lol", etc.. and they expect their opinions to be taken seriously.... Also agree with the ego part. There are a few on here who claim to be geniuses. They are the same ones who tend to disappear when called out. Enjoy the sport, make your picks, and cash when you can.. Leave the egos at the door.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Loony Tunes
John Smith More than 1 year ago
Hey man, keep Bugs Bunny out of this. What did he do?