Abel Tasman Looks Tough as Favorite in Coaching Club American Oaks

Abel Tasman leads a field of seven that will line up in Sunday’s $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1). (Photo credit: NYRA)

The Bob Baffert trained Abel Tasman seeks her third win in a row when she is sent off as the morning line favorite in Sunday’s $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga.

The filly comes into the race off a victory in the Acorn (G1) at Belmont Park. She won the Kentucky Oaks (G1) in the slop in her previous outing. The daughter of Quality Road has won five of her eight career starts with a pair of seconds.

Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith retains the mount on the filly, who will break from the two post in the field of seven.

Trainer Mark Casse will be busy in the Spa paddock, saddling three of the seven fillies that will line up to go the 1 1/8 miles in the 101st edition of the race.

His best shot may be with Salty (5-2), who ran second to the betting favorite in each of her last two starts.

He also saddles Corporate Queen (20-1), sixth in the Wonder Again (G3) on turf in her last outing and Summer Luck (15-1), who was third in the Regret (G3) over the Churchill Downs turf course.

Hall of fame trainer Bill Mott sends out Elate (5-1), who won the Light Hearted Stakes at Delaware Park in her most recent start.

Completing the field are Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) fourth place finisher Daddys Lil Darling (9-2) and the Graham Motion trained Berned (8-1), who was fifth in the Delaware Oaks (G3) two weeks ago.

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Let’s head out to the Spa for Sunday’s featured race of the day:

Saratoga Race 10 The Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) Post time 6:18 ET

2 Abel Tasman   8-5

1 Elate   5-1

7 Salty   5-2

3 Daddys Lil Darling   9-2

Abel Tasman has won five of her eight career starts and comes into this spot off very impressive victories in the Acorn (G1) in her last outing and the Kentucky Oaks (G1) two back. In the Oaks, she was my top pick at 9-1 and my confidence in there waned as the day went on as the racing surface seemed to be kind to inside speed. She overcame that with a good wide run and drew clear late. I tried to beat her in the Acorn but she came right back with another sharp win. Her trainer Bob Baffert has started 13 runners dating back a year in New York and has won seven times including five Grade 1 races. There is no speed signed up here but her jockey Mike Smith will see that and it looks as if she is tactical enough to be closer to the front.

Elate drew off to win the Light Hearted Stakes last out at Delaware Park beating three foes. Two have come back to beat Alw-1 foes in their next starts but this is a much tougher spot for the Bill Mott trainee. She was third in the Honeybee (G3) at Oaklawn Park but was pulled up and vanned off in the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland. She draws the rail and she should be forwardly placed. If the fractions are moderate enough she may be able to be in the mix late and break up a chalky exacta.

Salty has finished behind our top pick in each of her last two starts, beaten a length last out in the Acorn. She had a rough trip two back in a fifth-place finish in the Oaks. Three back she won the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) which was her first start against winners. She is one of three in here sent out by the Casse barn. She is coming off a career top speed fig but her price may end up a bit on the light side.


WIN: Abel Tasman to win at 7-5 or better.

EXACTA: 1,2 / 1,2,3,7

TRIFECTA: 2 / 1,7 / 1,3,6,7


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