7/19/19 (WEEKEND BLOG REVISED per Saratoga cancellation for Saturday)
Guarana looks to stay unbeaten in Sunday’s Coaching Club American Oaks
By New York Hot List Staff
Guarana, who won her first two starts by a combined 20-lengths, has been tabbed as the 2-5 morning line favorite for the $500,000 Coach Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga on Sunday. In her last start the Chad Brown runner defeated the Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Serengeti Empress in the Acorn (G1) at Belmont Park by six-lengths.
Guarana will face a field of five which has three other stakes winners with two of them having a victory in a Grade 2. She will be tested while going two-turns for the first time in her third career start.
Point of Honor is the 7-2 second choice in the morning line based on her record of three wins in four starts. The George Weaver trainee won the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) in her most recent start earning a 90 Beyer Speed Figure, which is second in this field behind only Guarana’s 99.
Champagne Anyone, who is the third choice at 4-1 in the morning line, returns to the races after running fourth in the Kentucky Oaks after a less than ideal trip. Trainer Ian Wilkes has had the CCA Oaks on his calendar since that last race at Churchill Downs.
“She’s training well and I’m happy with her,” Wilkes said. “I freshened her up, backed off a bit and just was trying to get her ready for this race.”
Wilkes said he anticipated more speed in the Kentucky Oaks, where eventual winner Serengeti Empress set a moderate pace and won going gate-to-wire.
“That always happens when you read the form and all the speed is in the race and then they all stay there and look at each other,” Wilkes said. “Kudos to [Serengeti Empress], she took advantage of it. She made the running and won. My filly got shuffled back a little further than she should’ve been, but I was happy with the way she finished.”
Full card analysis from the New York Hot List team for Sunday’s card is available free on this website.