Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) – Race 5 (3:23 p.m. ET)
Unraced since winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1) in late April, Malathaat will return as an odds-on favorite in Saturday’s $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga. Only three rivals will line up to challenge the unbeaten three-year-old filly.
Malathaat brings an overall 5-for-5 record to the 1 1/8-mile CCA Oaks. After opening her sophomore campaign with a victory in the Ashland S. (G1) at Keeneland, the Todd Pletcher pupil rallied from just off the pace to win the Kentucky Oaks by a neck. Shadwell Farm purchased the daughter of Curlin for $1.05 million as a yearling, and John Velazquez will be back up.
Grade 2 winner Clairiere is the main challenger. Fourth in the Kentucky Oaks, the Steve Asmussen-trained Curlin filly offered a belated bid when third in the June 26 Mother Goose (G2) at Belmont Park. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call aboard the late-running Stonestreet Stables homebred.
A convincing maiden winner at Churchill Downs two starts previously, Rockpaperscissors will face a class check following a 9 3/4-length romp in an off-the-turf entry-level allowance at Indiana Grand. Trained by Rodolphe Brisset, the daughter of Distorted Humor will add Luis Saez for her stakes debut.
Gazelle (G3) runner-up Maracuja, seventh most recently in the Kentucky Oaks, rounds out the field.