The only Grade 1 race of the entire weekend across the United States and Canada takes place at Santa Anita Race Track.
The American Oaks isn't the most notable filly and mare race in the world, but there are a number of really fine looking horses who comprise a strong field in the early stages of preparing for the Breeders' Cup turf races.
Seven three-year olds are going to take to the turf at Santa Anita on Saturday in the fifth race of the day, and there isn’t a lot who are highly raced for their age. That makes this a tough race to handicap from the start.
All eyes though, are going to be on Spanish Queen and Consumer Credit, who each could end up going off the board at somewhere in the neck of the woods of 3 to 2 for the American Oaks.
FAVORITE TO FOLLOW
It's tough not to like what both Spanish Queen and Consumer Credit have done in their career. We give the slight nod to Spanish Queen in this respect though, knowing that Consumer Credit has never run better than a 91 Beyer Speed Rating and hasn't ever raced in anything beyond the Grade 3 Florida Oaks in March.
Spanish Queen only knows this track and this turf at Santa Anita, and she has absolutely loved it. She was second best in the Providencia Stakes, but she fired back four weeks later at the Honeymoon Handicap, beating Sharla Rae, who will also be in this field by a comfortable 1 1/2 lengths to win at 3 to 1.
In the Honeymoon Stakes, Spanish Queen turned a 99 Beyer Speed Rating over a mile and an eighth, the same distance she'll be running at here in the American Oaks.
UNDERDOG TO WATCH
Strict Compliance might never turn out to be all that much in her career, but if her recent workouts are any indication, we know that she can run. She turned five furlongs in 1:01 flat earlier this week at Belmont Park, and she breezed four furlongs in 0:50 and 1 the week prior. Those are some really fast fractions for a three-year old with just three races under her belt, none of which have been at the graded stakes level.
Strict Compliance did win her last start at an allowance race at Keeneland Park, and if she takes to the move well to California, she could be at least in consideration.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
Still, this day belongs to Spanish Queen as we see it. She'll be in a perfect stalking position for this race out of the chute with little to challenge her. Feathered and Mrs. McDougal are both candidates to go out to the head of the pack, but neither of these fillies are blazers by any stretch of the imagination.
Consumer Credit is going to be hurt just a bit by her far outside position, and we think that she is always going to end up being a step slow in this one.
A trifecta box with 1 (Strict Compliance), 2 (Spanish Queen) and 7 (Consumer Credit) feels like the right play here, though the payoff might not end up being fantastic depending upon the finishing order.
Play Spanish Queen to win the American Oaks
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