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American Oaks 2014; Eight Tough Ladies Ready To Run Long

American Oaks 2014; Eight Tough Ladies Ready To Run Long: The GI American Oaks takes place Saturday, May 31, 2014 at Santa Anita Race track in sunny Arcadia, California. The race is for 3 year-old fillies running 1 1/4 miles on the grass for a purse of $350,000. The race was previously run at Betfair Hollywood Park with the inaugural race in 2002 and was a listed stakes race until 2004 when in was upgraded to the (GI) level.

American Oaks 2014

Room Service, pictured above dueling it out with Rosalind in the Ashland Stakes, is Sigi’s top pick for the American Oaks at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, May 31, 2014. Handicapper Kari picks Room Service just behind Nashoba’s Gold.

On July 3, 2005, in the American Oaks, Japanese-bred Cesario, a granddaughter of Sunday Silence, clobbered the favored and undefeated Melhor Ainda, racing away with a four-length victory. She made horse racing history as the first Japanese-bred and Japan-based racehorse in a half-century to win a U.S. stakes race (Hakuchikara won the Washington’s Birthday Handicap at Santa Anita in 1959 upsetting the U.S. champion Round Table). Cesario also owns the fastest time for this race with 1:59.03.

Last year’s American Oaks win was by Emollient for Bill Mott in a time of 2:02.38.

The 2014 American Oaks is the 8th race of the day on a card of 9, along with the other stakes race #7 the Californian, with a start time of 4:30 pm, PST.

Kari’s Picks and Plays: (@horseflynawall) My top filly here is the Carla Gaines trained Nashoba’s Gold who last out rolled to a sweet one-length victory in the (GII) Honeymoon Stakes on this track on May 4th beating out Sweet Bliss and Diversy Harbor. It was the third win from four career starts and the second straight stakes win for this gray daughter of Smart Strike/Nashoba/Caerleon. She likes to run from off the pace with a nice stalking style and exits post #2 with “Smokin” Joe Talamo up to ride again.

According to her rider Joe Talamo, “I don’t think there are any distance limitations for her. The further the better. I could just tell galloping after the races; somtimes I need the outrider to pull me up because she just wants to go. Hopefully, she can be as good as her sister was. She’s the sister to Nashoba’s Key, which was my first Grade 1 winner when I was 17.”

He also stated, “Once you get the momentum going, she’s like a freight train,” the 24-year-old Talamo said. “She was amazing. I never did hit her. I just urged her a little bit and once she got in front, she just coasted home.”

My other top choice is the daughter of More Than Ready, Room Service. She is coming of a huge seven length dead heat win in the (GI) Ashland Stakes running 1 1/16 miles over the polytrack on April 5th, 2014. Prior she was a two length winner (GIII) at 1 1/8 on the turf at Gulfstream Park on March 2nd. The Wayne Catalano filly is looking for her third consecutive win and has a race record of 6:3:1:2. A deep-closer, her running style would suggest she’ll dig the added distance and the turf.

According to her trainer, “She worked OK over the dirt, but not as good as she does on the grass.”

Room Service exits my favorite #8 with her regular rider shipping in Shaun Bridgmohan.

The Tom Proctor trained Diversy Harbor has been ridden off the pace in her first three starts by Gary Stevens. Last out she was ridden by Drayden Van Dyke where she was up-close and rank to come in third in the Honeymoon Stakes on May 4th. A filly out of Curlin she’s also a first-out maiden winner on the hillside Santa Anita turf course at 6 1/2f. In the one mile China Doll Stakes next on March 8th, she came rolling to defeat her rival in here Nashoba’s Gold. She has the pedigree for staying power, so we’ll see show she rolls under Mike Smith from lucky #7.

I’ll go for the pretty grey Nashoba’s Gold for the win in the 2014 American Oaks. Her rider is super jazzed and feels she’s ready for more realestate. However, when Room Service comes knocking, you better answer the door. This out of towner is the money winner of the field. So these two are my top picks to hit. Diversy Harbor is always game and ready to roll and I wouldn’t be surprised if she won. Two in here that scare me are Little Journey for Chad Brown and Tiz The Key for “Papa” Richard Mandella. They are the only two that have raced at this distance with Tiz The Key having a win in an allowance going 1 1/4 on May 18, 2014. If they step it up here, game on.

My play for this race is a $2 exacta part-wheel keying the #2 & #8 in first and over themselves for second plus four more ladies to hit second, $20. 2,8/2,3,4,6,7,8.

Sigi’s Picks and Plays: (@sigimendoza) Looks like Room Service is one step above this field. Her last race was amazing despite the troubles at the start. If she duplicates that effort, she should win this race easily. Also Room Service has a pedigree that suggests she should love the turf. Shaun Bridgmohan is shipping to California to ride her and that’s a sign of confidence. I think she’s a single here and I’m using her on top in exotic plays also.

My play will be Room Service to win and a trifecta 8/2,4/2,3,4,7.

Thanks Sigi for taking the time to look this over and add your picks and plays. Good luck to the girls and their connections.

*SEE UPDATED RESULTS & RACE REPLAY

American Oaks 2014 Post Positions & Odds:
1. Loan Savant 30-1 M.Gutierrrez/D.O’Neill
2. Nashoba’s Gold 9-5 J.Talamo/C.Gaines
3. Little Journey 6-1 (FR) J.Bravo/C.Brown
4. Sweet Bliss 4-1 C.Nakatani/J.Shirreffs
5. Kissin Lucky Lips 30-1 B.Blanc/M.Puype
6. Tiz the Key 12-1 T.Baze/R.Mandella
7. Diversy Harbor 4-1 M.Smith/T.Proctor
8. Room Service 2-1 S.Bridgmohan/W.Catalano

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