Last week it was Blind Luck and Havre de Grace dueling in a thrilling Delaware Handicap. This week it's Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty and Acorn winner It's Tricky battling down the stretch at Saratoga in the Coaching Club American Oaks. It's Tricky prevailed by a length at the wire.
The winner stalked early leader Plum Pretty down the Saratoga backstretch through quick opening fractions (23.88 and 47.55) and then engaged her rival at the top of the stretch. Little separated the fillies until they moved inside the final furlong when It's Tricky finally went by the stubborn and game Plum Pretty.
Morning line favorite Royal Delta finished 3rd to round out the top 3.
5-It's Tricky: $10.60, $4.40, $3.10
2-Plum Pretty: $3.40, $2.50
4-Royal Delta: $2.50
$1 Exacta: $17.70
The final 1/8th of a mile was fairly pedestrian at 13.54, but that's to be expected when the leaders crank out 23+ quarter for the first six furlongs. The rest of the field was run into the ground with It's Tricky and Plum Pretty over six lengths clear of their nearest competitor.
The male horses, both three-year-olds and the handicap horse, have been a bit of a disappointment during 2011 with the lack of a standout, dominate horse. Odds-wise, it's great to have wide-open races with vulnerable favorites, but there is certainly a bit of class lacking from the top of the standings. The fillies, however, continue to impress week-after-week. A Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic that features Blind Luck, Havre de Grace, It's Tricky, Plum Pretty, Royal Delta and perhaps R Heat Lightning (assuming she can get back on the track in good order) would be a mouth-watering affair.
Race replay (via NYRA's YouTube page) below the jump.