Undefeated Songbird and her perfect record are being put on the line in the July 24 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I). The Saratoga Race Course event features a $500,000 purse, which was bumped up from its original $300,000 price tag to lure in the undefeated Songbird.
The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro had to miss the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) due to a fever, but that setback seems to be in the rear-view mirror after competing in and winning the June 18 Summertime Oaks (gr. II) by 6 1/2 lengths. That win improved her record to 8-0. She has been dominating the circuit, with the closest win being a 3 1/4 length victory in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I).
With a win in the Santa Anita Oaks, Songbird looks to become the first horse to win both the Santa Anita Oaks and the Coaching Club American Oaks in the same year since 1991. The last horse to do it was Lite Light, who was trained by Jerry Hollendorfer in the Coaching Club American Oaks and Henry Moreno in the Santa Anita Oaks. Hollendorfer just so happens to be Songbird’s trainer.
Songbird runs for Fox Hill Farms, which has a 2000 Coaching Club American Oaks title on its resume with Jostle. Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farms is in awe of Songbird and a recent six-furlong training session timed at 1:11 2/5 did nothing to make him any less amazed wish his star filly.
“If you watch her work, it’s just unbelievable,” said Porter. “Mike never sat down on her, he let her do the work the way she wanted to do it and it looks like she’s just floating in an open gallop, and then those times come up—it’s just shocking.
“She had the bullet time for the three-eighths, five-eighths, three-quarters, and the seven-eighths, which was a gallop-out. I’ve never heard of anything like that. And they didn’t catch the time right for the half, but she might’ve had the bullet for the half too.”
The Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) is set to run on Saturday, July 24, at 6:18 PM local time.