Coaching Club American Oaks
I had a lot of confidence in Livin Lovin last week as she was set to take on older horses in the Delaware Handicap. This race is the same distance against a weaker bunch so it would make sense to keep the faith here. I've really liked this horse since her runner up effort in the Mazarine at Woodbine. The Acorn was a decent effort considering that she blew the break. This field is much lighter than the Acorn was. Livin Lovin could even wind up being a main pace factor. I think she'll have too much class for the rest of them. It would be unwise to ignore Wynning Ride however. Baffert has a good strike rate with the horses he sends east. Wynning Ride was not ready for Milwaukee Appeal in the Woodbine Oaks but I think Milwaukee Appeal would win this race easily. First time on a natural dirt surface has been a decent angle. I'm not a huge fan of Hightap although she does have a consistent efficiency about her. She and Casanova Move should be challenging for a spot on the board.
This is going to be a very tough G-2 event, I have to say that I'm quite impressed with the quality that has been drawn. Six of the seven entrants are graded stakes winners, two are G-1 winners and another two are Canadian Classic winners. You don't find many G-2 races this deep. Champs Elysees returns to Woodbine after a successful escapade here last year. He was struggling in California and a trip to Woodbine got him back on the right track. This year he is struggling even more in California and Kentucky. The bettors will likely still come in for him but I'm skeptical. Rahy's Attorney has been a bear this season but I'm a little surprised that he went for this race instead of pursuing races for milers. He is the best miler at Woodbine. He has raced beyond 9f four times and has a second, two thirds and a fourth place finish to show for it. In grass races 9f or less he is 10-7-1-0. I think you have to oppose him but the scary part is that he has been in the form of his life recently. He ought to get a bit more pace pressure in here than he did in his last because Marlang is in the race. I actually love Marlang here because I think he was primed perfectly for a top effort. In his first race of the season he was entered in a mile race. He set the pace but Just Rushing, who is the second best miler on the grounds, was too quick for him in the final stages. Marlang is a plodder who needs more distance to be effective. He's is perfectly suited for the trip and his recent bullet shows that he's really ready for a prime effort. I am a bit worried about the pace because both he and Rahy's Attorney will want the lead but Marlang is legitimate at the distance while Rahy is suspect so I suspect Marlang will have things his way. Rahy's Attorney won't be able to stand a speed duel and the extended distance. If the pace does get a bit too hot I like Spice Route instead of Champs Elysees. They are similar in ability but Spice Route has been in much better form. He's a far more trustworthy horse. Marlang was quite a 3yo he could be even better as a 4yo.