2023 Coaching Club American Oaks Preview
The best three-year-old dirt fillies in the country have their day Saturday, July 22, at Saratoga in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. The 1 ⅛-mile dirt race offers a purse of $500,000, and the field of six includes many of the top three-year-old fillies. Though Kentucky Oaks winner Pretty Mischievous does not return in this spot, Kentucky Oaks second-place finisher Gambling Girl and beaten favorite Wet Paint do turn up in the field, as do some newer faces trying to make an impact in the division.
2023 Coaching Club American Oaks Information
Race Date: Saturday, July 22
Track: Saratoga Race Course
Post Time: 5:42 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Age/Sex: three-year-old fillies
Where to Watch: TVG.com, Fox Sports
Where to Bet: TVG.com and FanDuel Racing
Coaching Club American Oaks Draw and Odds
This is the field for the 2023 edition of the Coaching Club American Oaks, including post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning-line odds.
|1||Southlawn||Norm Casse||Florent Geroux||9-2|
|2||Wet Paint||Brad Cox||Flavien Prat||2-1|
|3||Sacred Wish||George Weaver||Manuel Franco||10-1|
|4||Gambling Girl||Todd Pletcher||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||5-2|
|5||Hoosier Philly||Tom Amoss||Edgar Morales||5-2|
|6||She's Lookin Lucky||Matt Shirer||Kendrick Carmouche||10-1|
Coaching Club American Oaks Prep Race Results
The six horses in the field come out of four different last-out races.
Two of the runners come in after a two-and-a-half-month freshening after the Kentucky Oaks. Gambling Girl most recently rallied for second in the Kentucky Oaks as a 13-1 long shot, while Southlawn got a break after finishing a disappointing 10th in the run for the lilies. Wet Paint also ran in the Oaks, finishing fourth as the favorite, though she returned in the Monomoy Girl Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 17. She chased to finish second in that race behind wire-to-wire winner Hoosier Philly, who also comes back in the Coaching Club American Oaks.
Two others come into the Coaching Club American Oaks after runs in allowance company. She’s Lookin Lucky won a sloppy first-level allowance on June 29 at Ellis, battling on the early pace before opening up to win by seven lengths. She has tried stakes company once, finishing a well-beaten 10th behind Wet Paint in the Fantasy (G3). Sacred Wish was most recently second in a muddy first-level allowance against older foes on June 16, an improvement on her well-beaten ninth in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) two starts back.
Coaching Club American Oaks Contenders
These are the six runners in the 2023 edition of the Coaching Club American Oaks, in order of post position.
Southlawn: Southlawn came into the Kentucky Oaks off of a win in the perennially live Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), but she disappointed finishing 10th. However, she had a rough enough trip at Churchill Downs that it would be no surprise if she bounced back to show better form in the CCA Oaks. She has tactical speed. She should have the stamina to get 1 ⅛ miles, and even though she drew the rail, it’s a small field, and she won from the rail in a five-horse Fair Grounds Oaks.
Wet Paint: She dominated the Oaklawn spur of the Kentucky Oaks trail, but disappointed in the run for the lilies. Even though she got a sharp pace to close into, she was only able to get home fourth, three lengths adrift of Pretty Mischievous. She ran better in the Monomoy Girl at Ellis; though she was beaten, she finished a credible second behind Hoosier Philly after that one set a crawling pace up front and kept going. If Hoosier Philly gets any competition on the lead, it would be no surprise for Wet Paint to turn the tables.
Sacred Wish: Though she was defeated last out in allowance company at Belmont Park, she only fell a length short, she had to handle mud, and she was facing older. She also has the tactical speed to work a trip, which is a positive point in a short field. Even with that, though, she still has to step forward in this spot, as she was well-beaten in the Black-Eyed Susan, her only attempt at a mile and an eighth.
Gambling Girl: She has emerged as the most reliable placegetter in the upper echelon of the three-year-old dirt fillies’ division. Though this daughter of Dialed In hasn’t won since a New York-bred stakes back in September, she has hit the board in seven of her ten starts, including second-place runs in both the Gazelle and the Kentucky Oaks. She can get a piece, whether the pace is sizzling or languid, and she can take her show on the road. She may be an underlay on the win end, given that tendency to finish underneath, but her trainer Todd Pletcher knows how to get ready for the CCA Oaks like no other trainer, and she should be in the picture once again.
Hoosier Philly: Dull efforts in both the Rachel Alexandra (G2) and Fair Grounds Oaks made it look like she may not have trained on at age three, but this daughter of Into Mischief has stepped forward in her last two starts. She kept on for a second after setting a crackling pace in the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico, and then enjoyed a slow pace to wire the Monomoy Girl at Ellis Park next out. She shapes as speed of the speed in this short Coaching Club American Oaks field. The question is whether she gets pressure: if the likes of She’s Lookin Lucky or Southlawn pressure her early, she may have to settle for an underneath share going nine furlongs again. If they leave her alone early, she can steal it.
She’s Lookin Lucky: She has a lot to prove in a Grade 1 field, as her only stakes attempt was a well-beaten tenth behind Wet Paint in the Fantasy in April. Her allowance return in June was a flat fourth, though she stepped forward over the slop at Ellis on June 29, winning a 1 ⅛-mile allowance by seven lengths. She returns to that distance this time, though she will catch a fast track this time, and she faces a much more difficult field. She may be a pace factor to keep Hoosier Philly honest, but she would need a serious step forward to be a win candidate.
Coaching Club American Oaks FAQ
Q: When is the Coaching Club American Oaks?
A: The Coaching Club American Oaks happens on Saturday, July 22, 2023, at 5:42 Eastern Daylight Time.
Q: Where is the Coaching Club American Oaks?
A: The race happens at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Coaching Club American Oaks?
A: Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher has been the strongest force in the history of the Coaching Club American Oaks. The New York fixture has won the race eight times since 2001, most recently in 2022 with eventual champion three-year-old filly Nest. She dazzled in the CCA Oaks, winning the race by 12 ¼ lengths over Secret Oath before going on to dominate both the Alabama Stakes and the Beldame Stakes. Pletcher will try to extend that record in 2023 with Gambling Girl.
Q: Who is the favorite for the Coaching Club American Oaks?
A: At 2-1 on the morning line, beaten Kentucky Oaks favorite Wet Paint is the morning-line favorite in the Coaching Club American Oaks. Both Gambling Girl and Hoosier Philly are 5-2 on the morning line. Wet Paint is the most likely favorite for the CCA Oaks, though Hoosier Philly would be no surprise to go off favored instead after beating Wet Paint in the Monomoy Girl Stakes last time out.
Q: Who is the best Coaching Club American Oaks jockey?
A: Mike Smith and John Velazquez lead all jockeys with five wins in the Coaching Club American Oaks. Though both of them are still active, neither are riding in this year’s edition. Among jockeys riding in 2023, Irad Ortiz leads with two wins. Florent Geroux is the only other rider in the field who has won the race before.
Q: Who won the Coaching Club American Oaks in 2022?
A: Nest won the 2022 CCA Oaks impressively for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. for owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Michael House, and Repole Stable. They reunite this year with Gambling Girl, also owned by Repole Stable.