06/23/2016 12:40PM

Eagle Screams set for big run in Oak Tree Handicap

Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography
Eagle Screams (left), second in last year's Oak Tree Handicap, will be a prime contender to win Saturday's $50,000 race.

Trainer Jonathan Wong is hoping that history repeats itself – sort of – when he runs Eagle Screams in Saturday’s $50,000 Oak Tree Handicap at the Oak Tree at Pleasanton meeting at the Alameda County Fair.

After gamely dueling with Blues Blaster from start to finish in this stakes last year, Eagle Screams wound up second, with the rest of the field never a factor.

Wong, who claimed Eagle Screams for $62,000 for Scott Herbertson and Deborah Kriletich on Feb. 7, is hoping for a similar effort Saturday. Eagle Screams recorded a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure in the race last year.

Actually, he’s more than hopeful.

“We’re pretty excited,” Wong said of the 7-year-old Eagle Screams. “He’s really training well. We brought him over early because he’s not the best shipper, and he’s going nicely over the track.”

Eagle Screams made a belated debut for Wong in the Grade 3 All American at Golden Gate Fields on May 30 after some minor foot issues were addressed. Eagle Screams stalked closely and wound up fifth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths.

“We wanted to run in the San Francisco Mile and All American,” said Wong, whose horses win at a 27 percent rate in the second start following a layoff. “He needed the race [in the All American], but we were really happy with his race. He needed the race and was wide most of the way.”

Wong likes that there will be speed for Eagle Screams to run at and believes his star can get a good trip from the rail and move out into the clear on the second turn.

The speed comes from Southern Freedom, who set the pace in the All American before losing a photo to Living The Life.

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Oak Tree Handicap, Race 8


Southern Freedom, by Pure Prize

Last 3 Beyers: 95-90-96

◗ He rattled off three straight 90-plus Beyers since cutting back in distance earlier this year, twice losing photos after setting a pressured pace. Primary pace rivals could be stablemate Bronze Star, along with Hollywood Angel and Extant, both of whom are stretching out.

Eagle Screams, by Redattore

Last 3 Beyers: 90-91-94

◗Stalker just needs a little luck and to not be bottled up into the stretch to make this another thriller in the lane like last year.

Docs Legacy, by Ad Valorem

Last 3 Beyers: 88-91-91

◗He would prefer synthetic, but the late runner should be a factor in the lane with a legitimate pace seemingly assured. Hasn’t had the best of luck or trips in his past two starts against graded rivals, but he’ll be flying late at one of his best distances.