A compact, but competitive, field of six sophomore fillies will go 1 1/8 miles on the Saratoga main track in Saturday’s $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1).

Coaching Club Analysis

The early tempo could be swift in the Coaching Club, with #5 Crystal Ball the likely early leader. #1 Tonalist’s Shape, #2 Antoinette, and #4 Velvet Crush, will all be close and forcing honest early splits.

Coaching Club Contenders

#1 TONALIST’S SHAPE — Chestnut from the Joseph barn is 6-for-7 lifetime and draws the rail. Tonalist filly adds blinkers for her local debut and is training like a horse sitting on a career-best effort. Top pick will always be in touch with Irad Ortiz Jr. retaining the mount.

#2 ANTOINETTE — Bill Mott pupil has been consistently good on both the main oval and the lawn in her lifetime. Hard Spun 3-year-old has tactical speed and could challenge for a top-three finish if she takes to the Saratoga main surface.

#3 ALTAF — Shadwell homebred graduated in style in her dirt debut at Churchill Downs most recently, closing from well back to win in going-away fashion. Daughter of Medaglia d’Oro lands in a field with ample early pace, and she could be dangerous while closing best of all for Chad Brown. Joel Rosario will be in the silks.

#4 VELVET CRUSH — Brisset pupil was a game allowance winner at Churchill in preparation of her initial graded stakes try. Tapit chestnut will need to take a big step forward to be in the running late against this cast, though.

#5 CRYSTAL BALL — West Coast import was a dominant maiden winner at Santa Anita last time out for Baffert. $750,000 juvenile purchase registered a hefty BRIS Speed figure for her work, and she is a wire-to-wire candidate with improvement in her first run with winners. Javier Castellano inherits the ride.

#6 PARIS LIGHTS — Curlin filly has won two in succession with something left in reserve on each occasion for Bill Mott. Kentucky-bred gets a fine draw outside of the small field, and she possesses the positional speed to always be well placed under Gaffalione. Bay could be any kind in her first class test.

Coaching Club Wagers

  • $30 Win: #1 Tonalist’s Shape ($30)
  • $1 Trifecta: 1,6 with 1,5,6 with all ($16)