Guarana stands out in re-scheduled CCA Oaks

The Grade I, $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks will be renewed this Sunday at Saratoga after Saturday’s program was postponed due to extreme heat. Despite the lofty stature of this 1 1/8-mile race, just five horses are entered. That is due in part to the daunting presence of GUARANA, a convincing winner in Belmont’s Grade I Acorn Stakes last time out. There will be no show wagering offered in this race as a result of her participation. Post time for the CCA Oaks, Race 4 of 13 on the day, is 2:07 p.m. ET.

#1 GUARANA (2-5, morning-line favorite) would be an easy winner of the CCA Oaks if she replicates either of her first two speed figures. She was a facile victor on debut in the slop at Keeneland before galloping in the Acorn by 11 lengths. GUARANA handled the stretchout and fast track with aplomb that day. The daughter of Ghostzapper should have no problem picking up another furlong in this spot. Jose Ortiz will be in the irons for Chad Brown.

#5 POINT OF HONOR (7-2) bounced back from a disappointing run in the Gulfstream Park Oaks with a highly-rated triumph in Pimlico’s Black-Eyed Susan Stakes when last seen. The daughter of Curlin is now 3-for-4 lifetime. POINT OF HONOR demonstrated that she could handle nine furlongs last time out, but she’s yet to encounter a horse like GUARANA. Javier Castellano keeps the mount for George Weaver.

#2 CHAMPAGNE ANYONE (4-1) is the most experienced runner of the bunch with eight starts under her belt. She’s hit the board in six of those eight tries and took the Gulfstream Park Oaks two starts ago over Dunbar Road, who’s won two straight since (including the Mother Goose Stakes). CHAMPAGNE ANYONE drops out of a decent fourth-place effort in the Kentucky Oaks. She’ll be ridden once more by Chris Landeros.

The play: $5 trifecta 1/2,5/2,5 ($10)

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