Decked Out rallies for nose win in Grade 1 American Oaks
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Decked Out defeated Sally Little Lila by a nose to win the $300,000 American Oaks for 2-year-old fillies Saturday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Kent Desormeaux and trained by his brother Keith, Decked Out ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.86. The Grade 1 race was shortened from 1 1/4 miles because of concerns with the hillside dirt crossing at the top of the stretch on a rainy day.
Decked Out returned $11, $6 and $4.20. She had been idle since finishing 12th in the Grade 1 Rodeo Stakes on Oct. 1.
”She looked tired (in the stretch),” Keith Desormeaux said. ”She looked like she was starting to labor so I was surprised that she continued on. She showed her heart today.”
Sassy Little Lila paid $5.80 and $4, while Ireland-bred Lady Valeur was another half-length back in third and paid $7.20 to show.
The victory, worth $180,000, increased Decked Out’s career earnings to $480,859, with three wins in 16 starts.
In the $100,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes for fillies and mares, Ireland-bred Goodyearforroses won by 5 1/4 lengths under Corey Nakatani.
Nakatani returned to riding at Santa Anita on Monday after an 8 1/2-month break from the sport. He also won another race.
Goodyearforroses ran 1 1/8 miles over a sloppy surface in 1:51.42 and paid $7.60 and $3.60. She made her first start on dirt in her debut for new trainer Richard Baltas.
Argentina-bred Pretty Girl returned $4, while Frenzified took third. There was no show wagering because of three late scratches due to the change from turf to dirt.
The victory, worth $60,000, increased Goodyearforroses’ career earnings to $199,195, with five wins in 13 starts.
In the $100,000 Midnight Lute Stakes, St. Joe Bay put away Tough Sunday inside the sixteenth pole and finished in a dead-heat with his stablemate Solid Wager in the Grade 3 race.
St. Joe Bay was ridden by Kent Desormeaux, while Victor Espinoza was aboard Tough Sunday. Peter Miller trains both horses. The pair ran 6 + furlongs in 1:15.03 on the sloppy track.
”This is unbelievable,” said Miller, who swept Friday’s two stakes. ”Both horses ran super. Both riders rode super. I couldn’t call it and obviously, the stewards couldn’t either, so I’m just elated for everyone involved.”
St. Joe Bay paid $2.40, $3 and $2.10 as the even-money favorite. Solid Wager returned $4.60, $4.60 and $2.60.
”It’s not often this happens and to do it in a graded stakes for the same trainer?” Espinoza said.
Tough Sunday was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $3.20 to show.
St. Joe’s Bay earned $40,000 for his first stakes victory. He has four wins in 20 career starts and earnings of $257,175.