Las Vegas, NV - Del Mar racetrack in beautiful Del Mar, California will be the scene of the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks this Saturday, August 17. Three year old fillies will be featured as they race 1 1/8 miles on Del Mar's turf track in search of the winner's share of the $300,000 purse.
A field of 10 three year females plus one Also Eligible will line up in the Del Mar Oaks - race 8 on Del Mar's Saturday card. Post time is 5:40 PM. Let's take a look at the credentials of all 11 combatants for this Grade 1 stakes.
Wishing Gate - Thomas Proctor trained filly has three wins and two seconds in eight career starts but is coming off a terrific result - a win in her stakes debut in the Grade 2 San Clemente at 5-1 odds at Del Mar July 21. She also had a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Arlington Park June 23 after a second in an Allowance in May. Other notable career results include a second in the minor Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita in October after an eighth in the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf in September. Traffic could be an issue for her stalking style but she has won two of three starts career on this track already and is the one to beat Saturday.
Unusual Way - Jeff Bonde trained filly has looked very good the last year since placing in just one of her first three starts. Since that time she has three wins, four seconds and a third place finish. The wins include the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly Sprint Preview Stakes and the minor Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate June 1. She stepped up in graded stakes company last time out and finished a very good second behind Wishing Gate in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar July 21. She breaks from the outside post with Russell Baze in the saddle and should stick close to Wishing Gate again.
Emotional Kitten - Wesley Ward trained filly made her graded stakes debut with a very respectable second last time out behind Emollient in the highly competitive Grade 1 American Oaks July 13 after 10 starts produced three wins, a second and two third place finishes. She has won three of her last five starts - the best coming two back in the minor Hilltop Stakes at Pimlico May 17. Emotional Kitten has been impressive lately and should seriously challenge the field Saturday.
Kitten's Dumplings - Michael Maker trained filly is a multiple graded stakes winner that has 10 career starts with five wins and a second place finishes. She heads into the Del Mar Oaks hot - three straight wins including last time out in the Grade 2 Lake George, the Grade 3 Regret Stakes June 15 and the minor Edgewood Stakes. She also had a good second in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks behind Tapicat in February but followed that with a fifth in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland in April. She is in the best form of her career and enters this week as one of the deserved favorites.
Discreet Marq - Christophe Clemente pupil raced five straight minor stakes races ahead of the Sands Point Stakes with OK results including a second in the Sweetest Chant Stakes January 27, a third in the Ginger Brew Stakes January 1, a win in the Lie Low Stakes November 22 and a fourth and a third back in October. She won the Grade 2 Sands Point in impressive fashion in her graded stakes debut and followed that with a win in the minor Eventail Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths last time out at Belmont Park July 4. Two straight wins has Discreet Marq on the Del mar Oaks radar.
Sarach - Richard Mandella trained filly has nine career starts with three wins - two at the beginning of this year and both coming over one mile on turf - a MSW and an Allowance and two back in very impressive fashion at 8-1 odds in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap June 8 when she led all the way. This after a pair of fifths - in her stakes debut at the China Doll Stakes here March 9 and the Grade 3 Providencia in April. Last time out was a disappointing fourth in the Grade 1 American Oaks behind many of her Del Mar Oaks competition.
Charlie Em - British bred filly made her North American debut with a terrific win in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes May 11 after eight starts at home produced three wins, a second and a third place finish. Last time out was an OK fourth in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap here July 21 after a pedestrian fifth in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap at Hollywood Park June 8. She will be looking for a bounce back Sunday and races against a few contenders she's already beaten this year.
Doinghardtimeagain - Jerry Hollendorfer pupil enters the Del Mar Oaks having won three of her last four starts with a fourth last time out in the minor Fleet Treat Stakes July 27 ending a three race streak which included a terrific win in her graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks after a nice win in the Melair Stakes April 27 and a win in the Evening Jewel Stakes March 30. She has five wins and three second place finishes in 10 career starts and will be looking to get back into the win column Saturday.
Need You Now - Irish bred filly had two wins in four starts in Ireland before shipping to North America where she finished fifth in her debut here in the minor Runway Stakes at Santa Anita April 13. She went on to a fourth in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes May 11 but is coming off a nice win in the minor Le Cle Stakes at Hollywood Park July 7.
Pearlside - French bred filly makes her North American debut Saturday after 10 starts at home produced three wins, two seconds and a third place finish. Last time out was a nice second in the Grade 3 Prix Chloe at Chantilly June 30 after a fifth in a Grade 1 event June 16. She has placed in two of her last three graded stakes starts in France and could be a factor Saturday.
Ighraa - From the Also Eligible List comes Irish bred filly who spent last year in France and had some success - two wins in the spring were her peak. Her last two starts haven't been all that great however - a sixth last time out in the Grade 3 Prix Chloe at Chantilly June 30 and a fifth in the Grade 3 Prix Vanteaux in April being her last stakes action. She makes her North American debut Saturday.