A fine field of sophomore fillies are expected to lead the way in the topper at Santa Anita on Saturday, the $350,000 American Oaks (G1). This grassy test will be run at 1 ¼ miles for some of the better three-year-old turf runners on the coast and beyond, and could be led by the ultra-impressive Nashoba’s Gold. Trained by Carla Gaines, the gray daughter of Smart Strike was stuck behind a snail-like pace in the Honeymoon (G2) last time but still proved much the best, and she is a half-length shy of being unbeaten from four career tries, all on the lawn. She looks formidable as the likely favorite.
Tiz the Key has won both of her races in 2014, including an allowance at this distance last time, and the improving filly by Tiznow could be dangerous for Richard Mandella. Sweet Bliss was second to the favorite in the Honeymoon last out for John Shirreffs, and seems to have a lot of room for improvement. The daughter of Street Cry is bred to be a nice one and owns a fine late kick, with the stretch out to ten furlongs likely to benefit her. Room Service could ship in for Wayne Catalano, and the recent Ashland (G1) queen was most impressive two back with a daylight romp in the Herecomesthebride S. (G3).
Shug McGaughey’s stakes-placed talent Party Now, Euro import Minorette, third in her U. S. debut for Chad Brown, Edgewood S. third Little Journey, Chine Doll S. vixen Diversy Harbor, Graham Motion’s unbeaten Daring Dancer and Neil Drysdale’s Amnesia, are among the other heading for this race perhaps.
Also on Saturday is the $200,000 Californian S. (G2). Trained Jerry Hollendorfer will saddle the red-hot Fury Kapcori, winner of four straight including the Precisionist S. (G3) last time. Four-year-old colt by Tiznow has a ton of speed and has been running some very fast final times as of late, as a rising star who will be super tough in this form cycle. The Kentucky-bred is likely to take it to his foes once again.
Charles Town Classic (G2) fourth Clubhouse Ride, Group 1 hero Fly Lexis Fly, Grade 2 victor Handsome Mike, the vastly improved Imperative, who upset the Charles Town Classic (G2) at a big price last time, Tokyo City (G3) star Majestic Harbor, the returning Sky Kingdom, who bagged the 2013 Tokyo City for Bob Baffert and John Sadler’s You Know I Know, third in the 2013 Pacific Classic (G1), are also likely in this well-matched field.