December 6, 2022

Secret Oath-Nest Round 2 set for Coaching Club American Oaks

Secret Oath with Luis Saez riding wins the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

Saturday’s $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga will feature the second meeting between Secret Oath and Nest, the top two respective finishers from the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1). Only three other rivals will take on the three-year-old filly heavyweights, and the 1 1/8-mile event is carded as the 5th race on an 11-race program.

Secret Oath reeled off three straight convincing wins, including the Honeybee (G3) and Martha Washington S. at Oaklawn Park, before finishing third as the favorite in the Arkansas Derby (G1). Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, the Arrogate filly rebounded smartly in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks, utilizing an eye-catching turn of foot on the far turn to strike the front in upper stretch, and established herself as the divisional frontrunner with the two-length decision.

The chestnut exits a fourth in the Preakness (G1), and Secret Oath retains the services of Luis Saez.

Winner of the Demoiselle (G2) in her juvenile finale, Nest opened 2022 with dominant wins in the Suncoast S. and Ashland (G1), but the early/presser came up short from off the pace in the Kentucky Oaks, checking in second as the favorite.

Nest gained a measure of redemption when following with a runner-up in the Belmont S. (G1), and the Todd Pletcher-trained daughter of Curlin is eligible to sit a favorable trip up close to a moderate pace in the CCA Oaks. Regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. will guide.

Society adds some intrigue among the challengers, putting her undefeated mark (3-for-3) on the line in her first graded attempt. A wire-to-wire allowance scorer on the Kentucky Oaks undercard, the Steve Asmussen trainee did not disappoint as the odds-on choice in the June 18 Monomoy Girl S. at Churchill Downs, dictating terms throughout. Tyler Gaffalione rides the expected pacesetter.

Iowa Oaks (G3) winner Butterbean and Gazelle (G3) heroine Nostalgic complete the field.