The Grade I, $300,000 American Oaks is the feature at Santa Anita Park this Saturday. A field of 10 three-year-old fillies will go 1 1/4 miles on turf in the seventh of nine scheduled races. Post time for the American Oaks is approximately 6:32 p.m. EST. Don’t forget to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#8 RYMSKA (5-2, morning-line favorite) is lightly-raced but has turned heads this year. She’s a perfect 3-for-3 with two Grade III victories under her belt. RYMSKA gobbled up the ground late in Aqueduct’s Winter Memories Stakes when last seen, encouraging trainer Chad Brown to move her up in class. She’s come a long way since her only try over this course (fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf) and should relish the added distance she gets in the American Oaks. RYMSKA will be very tough to beat with Irad Ortiz Jr. shipping in for the assignment.
#4 DADDYS LITTLE DARLING (3-1) is just 1-for-8 this year (1-for-5 on turf) but is a solid alternative to RYMSKA. She was beaten less than a length in consecutive graded stakes after a convincing score in the Dueling Ground Oaks. Based on her recent form, stretching back out to 1 1/4-miles looks like an ideal move. Mike Smith picks up the mount.
#1 MADAM DANCEALOT (6-1) switches to one of the better turf riders in the game in Corey Nakatani and could go off at square odds here. She rounded into good form in the summer, taking the Grade II San Clemente before just missing in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks. She was a well-beaten third behind DADDYS LITTLE DARLING in the QEII Challenge Cup when last seen but could avenge that defeat picking up distance.
The play: $4 exacta 8/1,4, $2 win 1 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Irad Ortiz Jr. came in primarily to ride RYMSKA in the American Oaks, but he managed to pick up several live mounts for a total of eight on Santa Anita’s nine-race card. Proud Heroine (5-1) gives Ortiz a good chance to win the Saturday opener. Later on, he’ll have a shot at taking the Grade III Robert J. Frankel with Penjade (5-2). Ike Walker (10-1) is Ortiz’s other stakes mount, which occurs in the Grade III Midnight Lute.
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