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Plum Pretty Beaten in Coaching Club American Oaks
Plum Pretty Upended
Bob Baffert-trained Plum Pretty grabbed a big win early in the season at Sunland Park, New Mexico, but has come up short of the finish line in her last two starts for the Hall of Fame conditioner, who handles the three-year-old bay filly for Peachtree Stable.
It's Tricky, Godolphin Racing's top three-year-old filly, a daughter of 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft, went right to business in the Coaching Club American Oaks July 23, 2011 at Saratoga Race Course. It's Tricky achieved victory in 1:49.15 over the 1-1/8 miles course. She battled late to catch Plum Pretty, who had led throughout steadily, and gamely menaced for the win.
Martin Garcia was in the irons once again for Baffert. The one-time deli sandwich slinger has ridden to quite a number of impressive victories for Baffert since coming aboard last season when Baffert dumped Garrett Gomez from the saddle of Triple Crown hopeful Lookin At Lucky. Garcia won his first race with Lookin At Lucky, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, long-time second leg of the American Triple Crown.
Jockey Eddie Castro raced to victory with It's Tricky, who triumphed for the fifth time in six starts for Godolphin and captured her second grade one race. The Kiaran McLaughlin-schooled filly's performance was "special" for Godolphin, the trainer told post-race interviewers. "...We're pleased and privileged to train her for them," McLaughlin added.
It's Tricky snatched $150,000 of the event's $250,000 purse, while Plum Pretty earned $50,000, and A.P. Indy-sired filly Royal Delta brought in show money of $25,000 from 6-1/2 lengths farther back.
Plum Pretty, a Medaglia d'Oro--Lizy, by A.P. Indy product, also finished as runner-up in the June 25 Hollywood Oaks against winner Zazu.
McLaughlin indicated It's Tricky may be next pointed to the August 20 Alabama Stakes (G1).
Godolphin Racing's Win/Loss Day
While It's Tricky was showing signs July 23 of separating herself from the pack in the season's American three-year-old division for Godolphin, tragedy struck the racing stable at Ascot Racecourse in England on the same day.
Godolphin's four-year-old male star Rewilding stepped wrong in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-G1) at Ascot and his cannon bone "snapped clean in two", related trainer John Gosden, who conditions the race's victor, Nathaniel. Gosden was on the track aiding the veterinarian shortly after the bay colt stumbled.
Rewilding won his second straight race of the season in March, the UAE-G1 China Guangsha Dubai Sheema Classic at Dubai's Meydan Racecourse. Trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni for Godolphin, Rewilding had ten career starts and five wins to accumulate a bankroll of $3,827,399. Two seconds and one third completed his racing slate. He was a son of Tiger Hill--Darara (IRE), by Top Ville.
Giant's Causeway Daughter Wins
Excited, a three-year-old filly of leading sire Giant's Causeway, struck paydirt in the July 16 Virginia Oaks (G3T) at Colonial Downs, garnering a $87,300 paycheck, her biggest payday of a thus far 10-race career in which she has captured three victories. She also has four placings and one third on her resume.
Trained by five-time Eclipse Award Trainer of the Year Todd Pletcher, Excited stirred excitement into the mix of the Virginia Oaks that featured a total field of eight runners. Excited scored by 1/2 length over Summer Savoy, a daughter of Horse Chestnut (SAf).
Excited became the 104th stakes winner sired by Giant's Causeway, an Ashford Stud, Virginia, stallion.
Dead Heat and Noses in Hollywood
At Hollywood Park on July 16, Cambina (IRE) (12: 6-1-2) and Nereid (4: 3-1-0) performed to a crisp dead heat in the 2011 edition of the American Oaks (G1T), giving racing fans another interesting day in sunny California.
Previously this month, Baffert's two charges First Dude and Game On Dude flailed at one another in the July 9th Hollywood Gold Cup, a grade one male dirt race, with the First Dude coming on to sneak past Game On Dude and Twirling Candy in a blanket finish.
In addition, Baffert's Hennessy filly Irish Gypsy got the "Win and You're In" victory by a very short nose July 16 in the A Gleam Handicap (G2T) at Hollywood Park over Ultra Blend to automatically qualify for the Breeders' Cup World Championships Filly & Mare Sprint.
This season's Breeders' Cup World Championships of Thoroughbred racing are scheduled for November 4 & 5 at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky.