In her first start on dirt, trainer Michael McCarthy’s Queen Goddess handled the conditions with aplomb, as she dictated the pace throughout and took Sunday’s $300,000 American Oaks by 2 ¾ lengths. Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Queen Goddess got a mile and one quarter in 2:04.72.
Originally designated as a Grade I at a mile and one quarter on turf, the eventual graded status of today’s American Oaks will be decided in the coming days by the American Graded Stakes Committee.
Comfortable and well within herself on the lead, Queen Goddess was challenged briefly approaching the furlong pole by stablemate Nicest, but Queen Goddess was simply too much on the day.
A close third in a second condition allowance going a mile and one eighth on turf at Del Mar Nov. 25, Queen Goddess was off at 14-1 in a field of 10 sophomore fillies and paid $31.20, $12.80 and $7.00.
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and TOLO Thoroughbreds, Inc., Queen Goddess a Kentucky-bred filly by Empire Maker, picked up her first stakes win today and improved her overall mark to 6-3-1-1. With the winner’s share of $180,000, she hiked her earnings to $303,080.
Off at 7-1 with John Velazquez, Irish-bred Nicest checked in 3 ¼ lengths in front of Fluffy Socks and paid $8.40 and $5.00.
With Mike Smith up, Fluffy Socks never threatened for the win but finished three lengths in front of longshot Ivy League. Off at 6-1, Fluffy Socks paid $4.80 to show.
The disappointment in the race was heavily favored Going Global. Off at 4-5 with Flavien Prat, she knifed her way into contention five sixteenths from home, but came up empty in the drive, finishing sixth in her first try on dirt.
Fractions on the race were 23.30, 47.62, 1:12.87 and 1:38.14.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Benoit Photo