An oversubscribed field of 14 sophomore fillies has been entered to go seven furlongs on Saturday in the $300,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3).
The two-turn contest features Grade 2 winner Tequilita, who is cross-entered to the Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs on the same day, as well as Sine Wave and Overture.
Tequilita goes here off a third-place run in the Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on August 5. The Union Rags filly tried the nine-furlong Kentucky Oaks (G1) prior to that, but finished a one-paced seventh over a sealed, sloppy Churchill Downs track. She was second in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on April 1, and capped off a three-race win streak in the Forward Gal Stakes (G2) to open her sophomore campaign.
Luis Saez has the call on the Michael Matz-trained filly in the Charles Town Oaks.
“I trained her mother and her best distance was probably a mile, and obviously I think (Tequilita) can do that, but she has enough speed to get the job done at seven furlongs as well,” Matz said. “But certainly when you train both the mother and the father its special, and you can pick up on different characteristics they had and use that to your advantage.”
Sine Wave and Overture met up in the Monmouth Oaks (G3) last out on August 12, with the former finishing second by a half-length while holding Oveture to third by three parts of a length. Sine Wave scored a neck win in an allowance/optional claimer prior to that at Penn National while Overture captured the Indiana Oaks (G3) at Indiana Grand.
Albin Jimenz rides the Ben Perkins Jr.-trained Sine Wave, who is cross-entered to the Cotillion Stakes (G1) at Parx Racing on the same day, while Jose Ortiz pilots the Bill Mott-conditioned Overture.
“The fact that she should have decent position in the race is important,” Mott said in regards to Overture breaking from the 3 post. “It sounds like there should be plenty of speed in the race, so she doesn’t have to have the lead but we expect her to be forwardly placed.”
Munny Spunt is also in with a chance following a head second, elevated to first via disqualification, in the Torrey Pine Stakes (G3) at Del Mar on August 27. Trainer Doug O’Neill claimed the Munnings filly out of a six-furlong contest at Santa Anita Park on June 30 and saddled her to capture a Del Mar claimer by 4 1/2 lengths one race later. The dark bay lass followed that with a fourth-placing in the Rancho Bernardo Stakes Handicap (G3) going 6 1/2 furlongs prior to her first stakes victory in the two-turn, one-mile Torrey Pines. Drayden Van Dyke will be aboard Saturday.
“We’re very excited and optimistic on Munny Spunt’s chances,” O’Neill said. “Her first time going two turns in her last start really agreed with her. Drayden (Van Dyke) staying on her for this race is a plus as well.”
There are four fillies listed on the also-eligible list, including Shimmering Aspen, who has captured her past two against stakes rivals, and Who’s the Lady, a head winner of the Azalea Stakes two back.