|Stopchargingmaria enters the winner circle with jockey Javier Castellano onboard|
after winning the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga. WMML Photo
So it should be no surprise that the filly earned her first Grade 1 victory at this same track, winning the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga Race Course on Sunday.
Stopchargingmaria used a stalking trip while Miss Besilu and Taketheodds ran at the front of the pack through the first three quarters, angled outside by jockey Javier Castellano. As the leaders started to tire, Castellano made his move, pushing Stopchargingmaria to the front of the pack, followed by Unbridled Forever. By the time Stopchargingmaria reached the top of the stretch, she had gained the lead and was able to run away from the rest of the pack.
Unbridled Forever finished second, and front-running Miss Besliu was able to hold off America for third.
It's her fourth Graded Stakes victory, winning in the Black Eyed Susan at Pimlico her last time out, and also victories in the Demoiselle and the Tempted last fall at Aqueduct.
Stopchargingmaria broke her maiden one year and one day prior to winning The Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga Race Course, winning a hand-driven Maiden Special Weight on July 19th, 2013. She would go on to race in the Spinaway Stakes on closing weekend, finishing second to Sweet Reason.
Repole Stables owns the three year old filly. Todd Pletcher is the trainer.
Stopchargingmaria could now angle for another run against three year old fillies in the Alabama, or face older horses in the Personal Ensign, both next month at Saratoga.
Other Notes: Frankie Dettori did not ride either of his mounts on Sunday. The European rider is scheduled to ride on Monday before returning to Europe afterwards. Dettori came up empty on Saturday, but did get to show off his signature dismount after winning twice on the Friday card.
The New York Racing Association announced that the Sunday attendance was better than 26,000 fans. While that number seems small for a giveaway day, bear in mind that under the new rules for the giveaways, NYRA will not be including multiple admission purchases as part of their attendance, which means the 26,000 is truer than the old numbers that routinely pushed 50,000 on highly-sought giveaway items.
Nine races are on the schedule for Monday, including the eighth race feature Shine Again Stakes for four year old and up fillies and mares who have not won a graded stakes in 2014. Grace Hall is the morning line favorite, finishing second in the Vanity Stakes at Santa Anita where she watched the winner, Iotapa, run away to win by over ten lengths. Joel Rosario will be on the favorite.
We haven't forgotten. We lost our $15 mythical bet on the Schuylerville, but that won't stop us from investing more. We'll have a preview and a mythical bet for the Shine Again up here tomorrow.