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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Samantha Can't Miss

With regular rider Hugh Bowman back up, Samantha Miss toyed with the VRC Oaks field—a dominant winner going away. The real deal, as they say. A $1.5 million yearling purchase, this Redoute’s Choice filly, out of the Zabeel mare Milliyet, is without doubt one of the finest fillies running on this planet. Her trainer Kris Lees says she will be rested until next autumn there (spring here in the Northern Hemisphere) and attempt the AJC Australian Oaks-Derby double in her next preparation, with the ultimate goal being another shot at the G1 Cox Plate next October. How refreshing to hear of a three-year-old not being retired...

Photo: Darren Mcnamara

Miss Scarletti finished second, with Bart Cummings’ duo of Allez Wonder and Think Money finishing third and fourth respectively. Glowlamp and Lunar Lights were among the early leaders, but faded.

Pre-Oaks, in the listed Cadbury Roses Stakes, jockey Clare Lindop continued her recent amazing success by riding longshot Exalted Keetah to a convincing win—which paid $106.70 on the international tote (unfortunately, again, I didn’t have it). Just thought I would mention that Exalted Keetah’s sire Blevic is by Scenic—another Foolish Pleasure connection.

Next up at Flemington is Saturday’s (Friday night here) Emirates Stakes Day, with the G3 Queen Elizabeth (Baughurst, Light Vision), G2 Matriarch (Arapaho Miss, Tan Tat de Lago), G1 Patinack Farm Classic and G1 Emirates Stakes. In the Patinack, everyone is looking forward to the return of bald-face Apache Cat after a five-month layoff, and Gai Waterhouse sends a double-threat in the Emirates, Bank Robber and Royal Discretion. Of course, pre-race analysis to follow, and definitely send your picks!

Finally, as an aside to American racing fans, the Aussies put us to shame. Seriously. Not only did Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup draw over 100,000 at Flemington, but also yesterday’s mid-week Oaks drew 89,338 fans. Incredible!