Updated on 09/17/2011 11:00AM

Spoken Fur a triple threat

Email
Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Spoken Fur wins the Coaching Club American Oaks under Jerry Bailey.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The day before trainer Bobby Frankel won the third leg of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown with Empire Maker, a good-looking 3-year-old filly arrived in his barn from Kentucky.

Little did Frankel know then that Spoken Fur would give him an opportunity to still win a triple crown in 2003.

In a virtual repeat of her performance in last month's Mother Goose, Spoken Fur took command at the quarter pole and drew off to a 3 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks before 8,867 at Belmont Park.

Fircroft rallied from last to be second, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Savedbythelight in the 1 1/2-mile race. Yell finished fourth, 29 1/4 lengths ahead of Little Bonnet. Shapes and Shadows and Skipamiss were eased.

If Spoken Fur can add the Grade 1 Alabama - run at Saratoga on Aug. 16 - to her victories in the Mother Goose and Coaching Club, she would sweep New York's filly triple crown and earn her owners, John and Jerry Amerman, a $2 million bonus. The New York Racing Association this year changed the three-race series from the Acorn, Mother Goose, and Coaching Club to the Mother Goose, Coaching Club, and Alabama.

Spoken Fur figures to face stronger foes in the Alabama than she has met thus far, as Bird Town and Santa Catarina, the Kentucky Oaks one-two finishers, are scheduled to run.

Saturday, Spoken Fur, under Jerry Bailey, was fourth early behind a sharp half-mile of 46.59 seconds run by Shapes and Shadows. Yell, the Mother Goose runner-up, took the lead with a half-mile remaining, but offered little resistance when Bailey asked Spoken Fur leaving the three-furlong marker.

Spoken Fur, a daughter of Notebook, was timed in 2:31.02 over a fast track and returned $3.80 as the 4-5 favorite.

"I was very confident down the backstretch with the fast pace," said Bailey, who won his 42nd stakes and 13th Grade 1 of the year. "You don't see too many horses accelerate like she did in a mile and a half race. She put the race away at the quarter pole."

Frankel said he purchased Spoken Fur because his barn was lacking a quality 3-year-old filly.

"She's really been improving," Frankel said. "Her demeanor is really good now. She was much easier to saddle today than she was the last time. You always have a question about the mile and a half, but the question was for all of them."

The victory was the sixth Grade 1 win of this meet for Frankel and seventh in New York this year. Overall, Frankel has won 33 graded stakes - 13 Grade 1's - in 2003. Frankel's Grade 1 wins at Belmont include the Belmont Stakes, Metropolitan Handicap, Manhattan, Ogden Phipps, Mother Goose, and Coaching Club.