Race Preview: Del Mar Oaks - Del Mar, August 17, 2013
While Arlington Park is putting on their grades turf stakes 2,000 miles away the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will be running a graded turf stakes of their own when three-year-old fillies line up in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks. The nine furlong race drew a field of ten; let's take a look.
The morning line favorite for the race and filly to beat is Kitten's Dumplings, the Ken and Sarah Ramsey filly that has won her last three races including back-to-back graded stakes races. She began her streak in the Edgewood at Churchill Downs then won the Grade 3 Regret, also at Churchill, and the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga. Her late kick is electrifying and she should love the Del Mar lawn.
Second choice on the line is the Glen Hill Farm owned Wishing Gate, who also enters on a winning streak. The daughter of Indian Charlie won an allowance race at Arlington Park in June then won the Grade 2 San Clemente at Del Mar last month. With Gary Stevens riding at Arlington on Saturday trainer Tom Proctor calls on Garrett Gomez for the ride. Gomez has been riding very well since returning earlier this week.
The two U.S. based fillies will have to contend with a pair of Euros that have some back class.
The French-bred Pearlside was last seen finishing second in the Group 3 Prix Chloe at Chatilly in France. Also this year she finished third in the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux at Longchamp, but her three career wins have come over the same track in Madrid, Spain. Spain to France to California, this filly has seen the world's best places to visit, but this may be a step up in class.
Ighraa also ran in the Prix Chloe, finishing sixth, just under two lengths behind Pearlside. Ighraa also finished behind that rival in the Prix Vanteaux and will hope the change of scenery will change the results. Both fillies will receive Lasix for the first time, a key handicapping angle for horses coming over from Europe.
On paper, Kitten's Dumplings is going to be very hard to beat. There should be plenty of pace with front-runners Discreet Marq, Doinghardtimeagain and Unusual Way to set up her late kick, making Kitten's Dumplings the day's best bet.
First post at Del Mar on Saturday is 5:05 pm ET with the Oaks scheduled to break from the gate at 8:40.