When a stakes race has “Oaks” in its name, it’s typically for three-year-old fillies. The Kentucky Oaks, American Oaks, Delaware Oaks, and so on fall under this category. So too does the Arlington Oaks, our local feature race of the week. It’s had some different names in the past, such as the Arlington Heights Oaks (for the municipality that hosts Arlington Park) and the Singapore Plate. Shelved last year, past winners include Mariah’s Storm (who has a stakes in her honor) and Upperline (the winner when this race was last run in 2010; won this year’s G3 Arlington Matron).
Arlington Park – – Race 8 — G3 Arlington Oaks — 1 1/8 miles on polytrack – – Post time 4:34pm CT
One lap around the polytrack for these sophomore fillies. After a game effort winning the up-front pace battle and fending off the late closers in the Mariah’s Storm Stakes, the pick is LADY CANDIDATE. That last-out effort came even with a speed figure regression. 25% winners going third off the layoff. In a field where almost all are untested at nine furlongs, it helps that her sire, Bob and John, won twice at three. Jockey/Trainer team are among the best of the meeting. TREASURED UP tried today’s distance last out on the grass in the G3 Regret on Stephen Foster Day. In the same zip code as top sophomore turfer Stephanie’s Kitten two back and a last-out third in the Regret, she closed off an honest pace that night. I do question the quality of the race, as some of these runners advanced on to nothingness in last Saturday’s G1 American Oaks at Betfair Hollywood Park on the weeds. SKY DREAMER comes south for top Canadian trainer M. Casse. Rider J. Bridgmohan may not be tops in the stable, but he’s ridden here at Arlington before and that may be an asset. Cleared the first-level allowance condition routing last time out, six of eight in the money, and you could give her a pass for her only other two-turn attempt when five wide in the G3 Mazzarine last fall.
#1 LADY CANDIDATE (4/1)
#6 TREASURED UP (5/2)
#8 SKY DREAMER (3/1)
Longshot: Trainer Al Stall has two fillies in this race. One of them is the aforementioned TREASURED UP. The other is #2 IRE (5/1), who was closing and just missed to LADY CANDIDATE going a single-turn mile in the Mariah’s Storm, this race’s local prep. Both Stall horses worked a half-mile on July 14:
- TREASURED UP, Keeneland, :49.3
- IRE, 4F, Arlington, :51
Would that make IRE slower than TREASURED UP? Not necessarily. Both are different synthetic surfaces. In fact, IRE has worked in the :49 range before at Keeneland. But the work over the Arlington surface shows the trainer thinks as highly of one as the other, and that could be exploited at the windows.
We’re just one month away from the biggest day of the Arlington Park meet, Arlington Million Day. Picks and Ponderings will take you along for the ride leading to that big mid-August day and its three Grade 1 races.
(Update, 7/19: Morning line odds on were added on Thursday after first release on Wednesday.)