Curalina (outside) won her second consecutive Grade 1 in the Coaching Club American Oaks. (Photos by NYRA/Coglinese Photos)
For the second time in two days, the Saratoga stewards were busy after a stakes race when there was both an inquiry and objection lodged against I’m A Chatterbox in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks after she was first past the wire.
After the stewards reviewed the late stretch run, they determined that the filly had interfered with Curalina and swapped the two fillies’ placings with Curalina taking home the win. The victory was trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez’s second stakes win by disqualification this weekend.
I’m A Chatterbox had led the race wire-to-wire in the 1 1/8 mile race while Curalina was close to her, hovering around the second position as the field made its way down the backstretch. I’m A Chatterbox was still ahead of Curalina in the stretch and opened her lead a little bit until Curalina really switched into gear and started closing the gap.
As they approached the wire and Curalina was gaining on I’m A Chatterbox, the leader drifted out into her path and Velazquez had to momentarily stop riding Curalina. The stewards ruled that I’m A Chatterbox drifting into Curalina’s path cost her the win, as she finished less than a neck behind I’m A Chatterbox, and she was promoted to first. Include Betty, who had trailed the field by many lengths closed to finish third in a photo with Danette.
The 3-year-old fillies covered the 1 1/8 mile in a time of 1:49.74 with Curalina going off at favoritism odds of 0.95-to-1. The win was the third consecutive Coaching Club American Oaks victory for trainer Todd Pletcher.
CURALINA AFTER HER VICTORY
This was the fourth win in five starts for Curalina, whose only blemish came in her debut almost exactly a year ago when she finished second in a Saratoga maiden. Curalina is now undefeated in Grade 1 races as she won the Acorn Stakes in her graded stakes debut on June 6.
By two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, Curalina is out of the graded stakes placed Whatdreasrmadeof and was purchased for $125,000 by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Dogwood Stables as a yearling. She now runs solely for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.
Curalina paid $3.90 to win on a $2 ticket. To see the Equibase chart for the race, click here.