Saratoga’s Grade I, $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks puts three-year-old fillies in the spotlight this Saturday. A field of six, led by TONALIST’S SHAPE, will be tasked with a 1 1/8-mile journey on the main track. Post time for the CCA Oaks, Race 10 on an 11-race program at “The Spa,” is 6:16 p.m. ET.
#6 PARIS LIGHTS (2-1) will be the top choice based on race dynamics. She’s stalked and scored in each of her last two races – a maiden and an allowance at Churchill Downs. The margin of victory was impressive each time. PARIS LIGHTS should get some pace to pursue with #4 VELVET CRUSH and #5 CRYSTAL BALL wont to flash speed, and #1 TONALIST’S SHAPE drawing the rail and adding blinkers. Tyler Gaffalione, the recent riding title winner at Churchill and Keeneland, will have the call on PARIS LIGHTS once more.
#1 TONALIST’S SHAPE (9-5, morning-line favorite) is 6-for-7 lifetime, the only blemish being a troubled seventh behind Swiss Skydiver in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. She’s never raced outside of Florida, but she drilled a bullet in her most recent work over this course. TONALIST’S SHAPE is bred to get the distance and Irad Ortiz Jr. maintains the assignment. She has to avoid getting into a speed duel but get good position from the rail – no easy feat.
#5 CRYSTAL BALL (4-1) showed dramatically-improved speed as she won at second asking for Bob Baffert at Santa Anita. Now she’ll take a big step up from the maiden ranks to Grade I company as she travels cross-country. But CRYSTAL BALL is bred to be here based on her $750k price tag. Javier Castellano will be in the irons.
The play: $3 exacta key box 6/1,5 ($12)
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