News and STORIES
Lady Prancealot Set To Run In American Oaks
Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Sunday December 29, 2019
With the year coming to a close, some runners will get a shot at earning a grade 1 placing by finishing second or third in the $300,000 American Oaks (G1T) Dec. 28 at Santa Anita Park.
It is a top-tier stakes race, and it will have a rewarding purse and prestige without the type of competition there would be at the upper level. There are eight 3-year-old fillies in the age-restricted turf event, but only three of them are existing graded winners. None of them are in a grade 1.
Lady Prancealot, a 10-1 winner of the Pine Oak Valley View Stakes (G3T) at Keeneland in her previous start on Oct. 18, will be the likely favorite. Other graded winners participating in the race include Mucho Unusual and Apache Princess.
Stakes winner Giza Goddess and the grade-1 placed Vibrance will be running as well. The three other runners are outsiders.
Lady Prancealot was imported to the United States from Britain last summer. She has had a great 2019, making $310,700 of her $367,841 bankroll this year for owners Craig and Josie Arntz, Donald Durando, Jerry McClanahan, and Jules and Michael Iavarone.
She took the Valley View after rallying wide to beat 13 rivals, and she also won the Honeymoon Stakes (G3T) on the Santa Anita turf June 1 and an allowance race there Feb. 1.
She has yet to win at the 1 1/4-mile distance of the American Oaks, but she won at 1 1/8 miles in the Honeymoon.
Six of her seven rivals have only won races up to a mile. The longshot Pretty Point has won at 1 1/16 miles in her only victory in a maiden contest at Golden Gate Fields Sept. 29.
The American Oaks will be Lady Prancealot's third attempt in a grade 1. She finished 14th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T) in the fall of 2018 at Churchill Downs and third in the Del Mar Oaks Presented by The Jockey Club (G1T) in the summer at Del Mar.
Joe Bravo, who was aboard for the Valley View, will return as jockey for trainer Richard Blatas, winner of the 2015 American Oaks with Spanish Queen.
RIvals In The Field
Giza Goddess and Muchu Unusual have the most recent grade 1 experience. They finished eighth and ninth, respectively, against Got Storym, Daddy Is a Legend, and Juliet Foxtrot in the Matriarch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar Dec. 1.
Giza Goddess took the Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita last December after beating a group of runners, including Lady Prancealot. Mucho Unusual won the July 20 San Clemente Stakes (G2) at Del Mar in her career highlight.
The trainer of Giza Goddess is John Shirreffs, and he took back-to-back renewals of the American Oaks with Harmonious (2010) and Nereid (2011).
Vibrance's breeding rights have been sold to Shadai Farm in Japan, according to co-owner Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.
She finished second last year in the Chandelier Stakes (G1) and third in the Tito's Handmade Vodka Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). She slowed down after but picked things back up in her past couple of starts.
In her last one, she finished third in the 1 3/8-mile Red carpet Handicap (G3T) against older mares at Del Mar Nov. 30.
"We think we've figured out that she wants to be a marathon filly on the turf," Wellman said.
Abel Cedillo will be the jockey aboard the daughter of Violence out of the Dynaformer mare Block, owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Donna and Jim Daniell and trained by Michael McCarthy.
The American Oaks is race 6 on an 11-race card with seven stakes.