07/20/2011 4:30PM

Saratoga: CCA Oaks draws short, but deep field

Tom Keyser
Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty is part of a field of five in Saturday's Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A field of only five 3-year-old fillies was drawn Wednesday for Saturday’s $250,000 Coaching Club American Oaks, the first of 17 Grade 1 races to be run here this summer.

The field may be short on quantity, but it is large on quality and includes three Grade 1 and two Grade 2 winners. From the rail out, the Coaching Club lineup consists of Buster’s Ready (John Velazquez), winner of the Grade 1 Mother Goose in her last start; Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty (Martin Garcia); Grade 2 Fantasy winner Joyful Victory (Ramon Dominguez); Royal Delta (Jose Lezcano), heroine of the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan; and Acorn winner It’s Tricky (Eddie Castro).

All starters carry 121 pounds.

Plum Pretty arrived at Saratoga from her Southern California base Tuesday evening, according to Jim Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert. Plum Pretty finished second as the 3-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks in her lone start since upsetting the Kentucky Oaks.

“We brought her in Tuesday because it was a long ship, and that way she was able to have an easy day this morning before going to the track on Thursday,” Barnes said. “Our filly is doing well, and she’s a good traveller, which is a good sign.”

Barnes said Baffert would not be on hand Saturday for the CCA Oaks.

The CCA Oaks will be shown on NBC during a one-hour program that begins at 5 p.m. The show is the first of eight to originate from Saratoga this summer on either NBC or Versus as a result of an agreement reached between the New York Racing Association and NBC Sports Group earlier this year.