OffTrackBetting.com - The G1 American Oaks comes our way this Saturday, December 31 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Some of the best three year old fillies around will take to Santa Anita's turf track and race 1 1/4 miles searching for the winner's share of the $300,000 purse.
A large and wide open field of 13 have been confirmed for the American Oaks - race 8 on Santa Anita's busy Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:00 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all 13 combatants for this intriguing G1 stakes - the final G1 of 2016.
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2016 American Oaks Entries at Santa Anita Park
Stays in Vegas - has five wins, a second and four third place finishes in 12 career starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer - all of the wins in stakes races. Last time out was a decent third behind Miss Temple City after setting the pace in the G1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar December 4 after a disappointing sixth in the G1 QE II Challenge Cup at Keeneland October 15, an OK third in the G1 Del Mar Oaks August 20, another third in the G2 San Clemente Handicap July 23, another third in the G2 Honeymoon Stakes at Santa Anita June 19 and a good win in the G3 Senorita Stakes May 7. She also had a close second in the G1 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos December 12, a win in the minor Pike Place Dancer Stakes at Golden Gate last November 1 and a victory in the Surer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita October 10, 2015. Stays in Vegas has been competitive virtually every time out and has finished third in four of her last five starts overall. She tries to snap a five race losing streak on a track she's won two of three career starts when she leaves from gate 2 with Flavien Prat in the irons.
Decked Out - Keith Desormeaux trained filly has two wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 15 career starts. She enters off an ugly twelfth in the G1 Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita October 1, an OK second in the G1 Del Mar Oaks August 20, a disappointing ninth in the G1 Belmont Oaks Invitational July 9 and consecutive fourths - in the G2 Honeymoon Stakes at Santa Anita June 19 and in the G3 Senorita Stakes on that track May 7. Before that was a career best effort - a 2 3/4 length win after racing in last in the G3 Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita April 9. Decked out had four graded stakes starts earlier in her career with a third in the G3 Schuylerville Stakes in July, 2015 being the best result. She has placed in just one of her last five overall (two back) and will look to snap an ugly slide from post 7. Kent Desormeaux rides
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Mokat - has two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 11 career starts for trainer Richard Baltas. Last time out was a fifth in the G1 QE II Challenge Cup at Keeneland October 15 which followed a fourth in the G2 Del Mar Oaks August 20 and a career-defining 3 3/4 length win in the G2 San Clemente Handicap July 23. She also had a respectable second behind Songbird in the G1 Santa Anita Oak April 9 and consecutive third place finishes - the G3 Santa Ysabel Stakes March 5 and in an Allowance Optional Claiming February 5. Mokat has failed to place in three of her last four starts overall but has shown form in the past and will be after just her second win in a year when she departs from the outside post 13 with Drayden Van Dyke in the irons.
Queen Blossom - Irish bred Graham Motion trained filly has two wins in her five career starts. She makes her North American debut Saturday off a sixth in the Group 3 Irish National Stud EBF Blue Wind Stakes way back in May, a fifth in a minor stakes race in April and a good win in the Group 3 Park Express Stakes at Curragh in March. Queen Blossom has shown serious form in the past and hopes to snap a two race losing streak from gate 8 Saturday. Joel Rosario will be in the reins.
Cheekaboo - Peter Eurton trained filly has three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 12 career starts. She has struggled lately - an eighth last time out in the G3 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes at Keeneland October 21 followed a fifth in the minor Unzip Me Stakes at Santa Anita October 1, an eighth in the G1 Del Mar Oaks August 20, a decent second in the minor Sandy Blue Handicap July 17 and a career-defining win in the G2 Honeymoon Stakes at 23-1 at Santa Anita June 19. Before that was a third in the minor Melair Stakes May 28 and a nice win in the minor Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate May 1. She also had an OK third in the minor Xpressbet California Cup Oaks in January. Cheekaboo has been good at times and hopes to get back to her winning ways from post 5 Friday. Mike Smith has been tabbed to ride.
Sassy Little Lila - has placed in four of five career starts for trainer Brad Cox - two wins and two second place finishes. She makes her graded stakes debut Saturday off a respectable second in the minor Winter Memories Stakes at Aqueduct November 25 and two straight wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park October 26 and a maiden score at Saratoga in September. The only time she didn't hit the board was in her debut. Sassy Little Lila has been competitive every time out and hopes to be again in her step up in competition from gate 6. Luis Saez will be in the irons.
Lady Valeur - Irish bred Patrick Gallagher trained filly has placed in seven of 11 career starts - three wins and four runner-up finishes. Last time out was a nice win in the minor Miss America Stakes at Golden Gate December 10 which followed a fourth in the G3 Autumn Miss Stakes here October 29 and a disappointing ninth in the G1 Del Mar Oaks August 20. Before that was a respectable second behind Mokat in the G2 San Clemente Stakes at Del Mar July 23, a fifth in the G2 Honeymoon Stakes at Santa Anita June 19, an impressive 1 1/2 length Allowance Optional Claiming score May 20, another fifth in the G3 Providencia Stakes April 9 and a second in the minor China Doll Stakes March. Lady Valeur has been OK at times and searches for her first graded stakes win Saturday (second straight stakes) with Rafael Bejarano in the saddle from the rail.
Barleysugar - Irish bred Edward Freeman trained filly had a win, three seconds and a third place finish in six starts in Europe - she placed second in her last two starts at home before shipping. Barleysugar has four North American starts - the first was a good one - a win in the minor Sandy Blue Handicap at Del Mar July 17. She went on to a sixth in the G1 Del Mar Oaks, third in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track October 6 and was most recently was ninth in the G3 Red Carpet Stakes at Del Mar November 24 . Barleysugar has been up-and-down in her career and will chase a career-defining win from gate 12. Tyler Baze has been tabbed with accomplishing that goal.
Sheeza Milky Way - Peter Eurton trained filly has two wins, a second and two third place finishes in 10 career starts. She was last seen back in May when she finished an OK third in the G3 Senorita Stakes on this track. Before that was a fourth in the G3 Providencia Stakes here April 9, an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track March 18 and a second in a similar race also here in February. Her other graded stakes races resulted in a fifth in the G3 Jimmy Durante Stakes in November and a seventh in the G1 Chandelier Stakes in September. Sheeza Milky Way has been OK but will be after a huge breakthrough effort from gate 10 Saturday. Brice Blanc gets the call.
Dreamarcher - has 15 career starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer with three wins, a second and three third place finishes. She hasn't been great lately failing to place in four straight ahead of this weekend. A seventh last time out in the G3 Red Carpet Handicap at Del Mar November 24 followed a sixth in her graded stakes debut - the G3 Autumn Miss Stakes here October 29, a fifth in the minor Swingtime Stakes on this track October 8, a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar September 1 and a nice win in the minor Wine Country Stakes at Santa Rosa in July. Dreamarcher has placed in just one of her last six starts ahead of this weekend but hopes to make some noise from post 3 Saturday. Luis Contreras gets the call.
How Unusual - Michael Pender trained filly has three wins, a second and a third place finish in 12 career starts. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score here October 2 which followed a fifth in a similar race at Del Mar August 27 and a sixth in the minor Solana Beach Stakes on that track August 14. Her two graded stakes races resulted in a sixth in the G2 Honeymoon Stakes on this track in June and a seventh in the G3 Providencia Stakes here in April. How Unusual has placed in just two of her last six starts overall and shoots for a first stakes score from gate 4 Saturday. Alex Solis has the mount.
Dynamic Mizzes K - has just two wins and a third place finish in her nine career starts for trainer Mark Glatt. She makes her graded stakes debut off one of those wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar November 13. Before that was a third and consecutive sixths in Allowance races and a ninth in her only stakes action to date - the minor Sandy Blue Stakes at Del Mar in August. Dynamic Mizzes K hasn't been all that great but enters having placed in her last two starts overall. Corey Nakatani will try to make it two wins in a row from post 11 Saturday.
Mrs. Norris - has just one win, four seconds and a third place finish in 14 career starts for trainer Eoin Harty. She makes her graded stakes debut Saturday off a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar December 4 and a fifth, a fourth and a sixth in similar races around California. Her only stakes action was a respectable second in the minor Sandy Blue Stakes at Del Mar in July. Mrs. Norris looks as though she'll be in over her head in this step up in competition here. Victor Espinoza is scheduled to ride from post 9.