07/23/2012 10:05AM

Trip Notes: CCA Oaks, Eddie Read Stakes, Virginia Derby, and more

Email

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saratoga
CCA Oaks (race 10)

A division in complete disarray at the top got no help here in terms of clarity as yet another filly grabbed the spotlight. Questing, a one-time Euro, notched her first stakes win, a Grade 1 win at that. She showed enough speed to sit 2nd as Yara surged out to a clear early lead, had no trouble moving past that rival going into the backstretch, was able to set modest splits, spurted away into the lane and was never in any danger despite drifting out badly late. Off this there’s every reason to expect to see her in the Grade 1 Alabama here Aug. 18. She’s the 8th different winner of the first 8 Grade 1 races for 3-year-old fillies this year. Maybe the Alabama can clear things up. Zo Impressive, who tossed her hat into the ring when she won the Grade 1 Mother Goose, bided her time early, was still well back turning for home, put in an energetic finish but was never really on the winner’s radar. In Lingerie, smart winner of the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan from well off the pace, sat back again, near Zo Impressive, moved earlier than that rival to briefly look threatening turning for home but flattened out while much the best of the rest. Disposablepleasure, a game 2nd in the both the Black-Eyed Susan and Mother Goose, lunged at the start to get away poorly, bided her time in 4th, moved a bit closer on the far turn but then came up empty in a disappointing run.

Delaware Park
Delaware Handicap (race 10)

Royal Delta, last year’s 3-year-old filly champ, did the expected here as she won, but it wasn’t as easy as most figured it would be as she had to call on her class to prevail. The heavy favorite, she stalked the fast pace of Love and Pride, moved up to challenge turning for home and appeared on her way to an easy victory but then had to fight gamely through the lane to keep hard-trying longshot Tiz Miz Sue (to whom she was giving 10 pounds) at bay. She may not have enjoyed this track. Tiz Miz Sue bided her time, came with a long sustained run, gamely challenged the winner through the final furlong but just couldn’t get by. Awesome Maria, seemed in a great spot early sitting 2nd while Love and Pride had a clear early lead, and tried to go with the winner turning for home.

Colonial Downs
Virginia Oaks (race 8)

Volcat continued her ascent as the daughter of top-class turfer After Market posted a game victory. Coming off a wire-to-wire allowance victory at Churchill, the filly chased pacesetter Boastful Dancer early, had no trouble going past that tiring rival on the far turn, opened up into the lane with a strong move and gamely fended off the hard-charging Filare l’Oro. The latter stalked the pace, doggedly went after the winner into the lane and kept on resolutely to close the gap, only to run out of room while much the best of the rest. Ski Holiday stalked but stayed fairly one-paced to hold 3rd while never really a factor in the lane. Zultanite, the favorite after finishing 3rd in a Grade 2 and 2nd in a Grade 3, was in a bit tight after the start, lagged back and never mustered a run.

Colonial Downs
Virginia Derby (race 9)

Deep going and an odd incident during the race could not foil Silver Max, who confirmed his status as the top 3-year-old turfer around, making it 6 straight wins and 7 straight grass wins. The son of Badge of Silver shot right out to a clear early lead as is his custom, but down the backside was suddenly confronted by Two Months Rent, who couldn’t be controlled as his rider’s saddle slipped. Two Months Rent came charging up to grab the lead but Silver Max rated kindly, took over again when that rival weakened, opened up into the lane and held the others safe. Lucky Chappy lagged back and finished with good energy to at least give the winner a bit of a scare in the final furlong. Finnegans Wake sat back early, moved up going down the backside, but couldn’t sustain his run.

Arlington Park
Arlington Oaks (race 8)

La Tia continued her love affair with this track as the filly is now 3 for 3 here and notched her first graded win. As with her other two smashing wins here this spring she used her speed. She broke alertly, bounced right out to a clear lead, was able to get away with dawdling splits while in hand, kicked clear into the lane when asked, giving her enough of a buffer to get to the line before hard-charging Canadian raider Sky Dreamer. The latter, coming off a big win at Woodbine, bided her time in 4th, came with a smart run in the lane and was getting to the winner but just ran out of ground while much the best of the rest. Ire sat back and made modest headway though she was never a threat. Treasured Up, the favorite, was last early and never mustered a run.

Del Mar
Eddie Read (race 3)

On paper Acclamation dominated this race, an event he also won last year, and that’s the way it turned out on the track, too. Last year’s champion older horse made it 7 straight wins as he his speed once again to go right out to a clear lead, shot away into the lane to basically put the thing on ice, and then cruised home in the final furlong. He looked super, though all that being said, this wasn’t the strongest bunch. Interaction, a top South American who gamely won at Hollywood last month, appears to be coming around to the form that made him so good south of the border as sat 4th much of the way and finished with good energy, though while he closed the gap was never a threat to the winner. Casino Host was last much of the way and plugged along to get 3rd. Slim Shadey chased the winner from the start but paid the price as he gave way in the lane.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saratoga
Sanford (race 9)

Bern Identity, coming off a romping 13 3/4-length maiden win at Belmont June 1 and some strong works, showed he’s got quality as the son of Bernstein stalked the pacer while saving ground, moved up to be just behind the leaders into the lane, moved through smartly between horses to grab the lead and edge clear. Handsome Jack was on the lead from the start, was hounded throughout, gamely rebuffed those challenges but couldn’t fend of the winner in a nice try. Onetwentyeight lagged back and finished with good energy. Rose Junction stalked the pace between horses but ran up the white flag in the lane.

Del Mar
San Clemente (race 8)

Eden’s Moon, a Grade 1 winner on dirt and Grade 2-placed on synthetic, showed her versatility while trying grass for the first time as the talented 3yo played keep-away all the way around and opened up all sorts of options for her future. She bounded right out to grab the early lead, set solid splits while being hounded by Don’tgetmadalexis, continued to take pressure from that foe, kicked clear into the lane and had more than enough to keep hard-trying longshot Open Water at bay. Off this she may be targeted for the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks at 1 1/8 miles on turf Aug. 18 – though she may well run into top turf filly Lady of Shamrock there. Open Water sat back and finished with good energy. Indigo River stalked the pace but was basically one-paced. Byrama was last early, still last into the lane and got going far too late.