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Joel Rosario aboard Competitionofideas head to the winner's circle after the 2018 American Oaks
The feature race on the Saturday before New Year's at Santa Anita was the $300,000 American Oaks (G1) for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/4 miles on the turf, starting on the downhill chute, and is the last Grade 1 race of the year. Just 10,158 fans came out on a sunny Saturday afternoon with temperatures in the low 60's, with the turf course rated firm. Californiagoldrush was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 8, winner of the Sands Point (G2) at Belmont after finishing third in the Del Mar Oaks (G1). In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Paved, 12th in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) after finishing a close second in the Rodeo Drive (G1), and 4-1 third choice Amandine, winner of the Lady Shamrock Stakes on Opening Day and running back on 3 days rest.
Down the stretch in the 2018 American Oaks
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Competitionofideas Rosario 12.20 8.00 4.60 3 K P Pergoliscious Baze 48.20 13.80 4 Amandine Smith 4.40 Winning Time: 1:59.77 $1 Exacta 8-3 232.90 $1 Trifecta 8-3-4 1,191.60 $1 Superfecta 8-3-4-2 5,017.30
Left: Competitionofideas in the winner's circle.
Right: Competitionofideas heads back to the barn after the race. Jose Hernandez, assistant to winning trainer Chad Brown said, "It's great to finish out the year like this. This filly had settled in real good here at Santa Anita and she was doing good coming into this race. She finished up really strong today." Retired Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. presented the trophy on his 72nd birthday. Pincay added, "It's nice to be here and to be able to present the trophy for a race like this. Chad Brown is a great trainer and Rosario is a good, good friend."
Left: Competitionofideas in the paddock.
Right: Competitionofideas in the walking ring. Winning jockey Joel Rosario said, "She broke well, we saved ground, and we took one shot. I thought we would be closer but everybody wanted their spot so I just let her settle. I always have to thank everybody for giving me the chance to ride here again and I really appreciate everybody. My plan for 2019 is just to see how it goes and go from there. We'll see what happens."
Left: Second place finisher K P Pergoliscious in the paddock before the race. Jockey Tyler Baze said, "She's a really nice horse. This is what she wants, a mile and a quarter, a mile and a half."
Right: Third place finisher Amandine returns after the race. The Jeff Mullins trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 4 seconds, and 4 thirds in 14 starts, earning $145,584 for owners Red Baron's Barn, Rancho Temescal, and Shanderella Stables.
Seventh place finisher and beaten favorite Californiagoldrush in the walking ring. The Neil Drysdale trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 0 seconds, and 1 third in 5 starts, earning $322,345 for owner-breeder Alice Bamford.
Fahan Mura wins the Robert J. Frankel Stakes
Jockey Edwin Maldonado sent Fahan Mura to a clear lead first time by and she set fractions of 23.48, 47.43, and 1:11.15 while pressed by Quebec and stalked by 8-1 Sweet Charity. Entering the stretch, Fahan Mura continued to lead by 2 lengths through 1 mile in 1:34.78. Excellent Sunset, 4th early under Rafael Bejarano, came out for the drive and put in a strong rally but Fahan Mura easily held her off by 3/4 length in 1:46.85. It was another length back to Quebec third.
Left: Fahan Mura in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Vladimir Cerin said, "The fractions were good for her, but they were good for her last time, too. For some reason, she just didn't fire. I leave it in Edwin's hands. He's improved her by letting her be herself. He never interferes with her. He's a big reason she's doing well."
Right: Fahan Mura heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Edwin Maldonado said, "She's a really fun horse to ride. She's become so much more professional. She used to pull quite a bit, but now, she relaxes so nice I want to thank Vladimir and the owners for putting me on her. Today, she made the lead easy and then she did all the work."
Left: Second place finisher Excellent Sunset in the post parade. The Anna Meah trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 6 seconds, and 0 thirds in 11 starts, earning $125,511 for owners Christopher Dunn, Abbondanza Racing, Mark Taylor, and Chris Johnson.
Right: Third place finisher Quebec in the paddock before the race. The Richard Baltas trainee improved her record to 5 wins, 5 seconds, and 3 thirds in 21 starts, earning $199,576 for owners Ackerman Racing, Catherine Bond, William Marasa, and Richie Robershaw.