Bellstreet Bridie faces fierce field of 11 in GI American Oaks

December 24, 2022

Bellstreet Bridie winning her first U.S. race, the GIII Red Carpet Stakes, at Del Mar Nov. 24, 2022. (Benoit Photos)

Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif.—Positioned as North America’s final Grade I turf test for 3-year-old fillies, Monday’s $300,000 American Oaks has attracted a large field of 11 sophomore fillies at a mile and one quarter over Santa Anita’s Camino Real turf, with Mark Glatt’s English-bred Bellstreet Bridie rating a big chance in what shapes up as one of the best betting races on the opening day 11-race card. 

Although ridden by Flavien Prat to an impressive 4 ¼ length win in her U.S. debutBellstreet Bridie (GB) will be handled by Mike Smith in the American Oaks, as Prat has opted to ride eastern invader Salimah. Close to the pace in the Grade III Red Carpet Stakes at 1 3/8 miles over the Del Mar turf Nov. 24, Bellstreet Bridie assumed command early and drew off to an emphatic 4 ¼ length win at odds of 4-1.

Owned by Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal, Bellstreet Bridie is 6-1-2-2 at the Oaks distance and is 13-4-4-3 overall.

Trained by four-time Eclipse champ Chad Brown, Irish-bred Salimah, who ships in from her Belmont Park base, will be seeking her first graded stakes victory in what will be her first Southern California start.

A winner of her last two races and three of her four career starts, upstart Salimahwas a first-out maiden winner going a flat mile on turf Jan. 22 at Tampa Bay Downs and she comes off a rousing three-length score going 1 1/16 miles over a yielding turf in an ungraded stakes Nov. 13 at Aqueduct. Ridden last time out by Jose Ortiz, she was ridden by Prat to a one length victory going the same distance over the Aqueduct turf in a first condition allowance two starts back on Nov. 13.

Owned by Stephanie Seymour Brant, Salimah’s lone defeat came in her second start, a one mile turf allowance at Saratoga on Aug. 27, a race in which she finished seventh in a field of nine at odds of 3-1. 

English-bred Skims, fresh off a one length win going a mile and one eighth on turf in the Grade II Sands Point Stakes at Aquduct Oct. 15, retains the services of John Velazquez rates a huge chance for Shug McGaughey. By superstar Frankel and owned and bred by Andrew Rosen, Skims was a close second going 1 5/16 miles on turf in an ungraded stakes at Kentucky Downs two starts back on Sept. 5 and should have no problem with a mile and one quarter on Monday as she seeks her first Grade I win.

Raced exclusively on grass in nine starts, Skims has three wins, a second and two third place finishes.

The Grade I American Oaks With Jockeys And Weights In Post Position Order

Race 11 of 11 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT

  1. Rhea Moon—Juan Hernandez—124
  2. Sparkle Blue—Joel Rosario—124
  3. Lady Clementine—Lanfranco Dettori—124
  4. Oakhurst—Hector Berrios—124
  5. Bellstreet Bridie—Mike Smith—124
  6. Mise En Scene—Tyler Gaffalione—124
  7. Skims—John Velazquez—124
  8. Pizza Bianca—Umberto Rispoli—124
  9. Salimah—Flavien Prat—124
  10. Duvet Day—Kazushi Kimura—124
  11. School Dance—Ramon Vazquez—124 

Special early first post time for an 11-race card on Monday, which includes six graded stakes, is at 11 a.m. Admission gates will open at 9 a.m.

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