Image for Brian Zipse Brian Zipse - October 14, 2022

Coaching Club American Oaks: Secret Oath Has Scored Four Straight Impressive Victories

Coaching Club American Oaks Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2022 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga!

PP Horse TwinSpires Odds Jockey Trainer
1 BUTTERBEAN 8/1
BET HERE
J Leparoux K McPeek
2 SOCIETY 6/1
BET HERE
T Gaffalione S Asmussen
3 NEST 7/5
BET HERE
I Ortiz Jr T Pletcher
4 NOSTALGIC 6/1
BET HERE
J Alvarado W Mott
5 SECRET OATH 3/2
BET HERE
L Saez D W Lukas

Coaching Club American Oaks Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$50 Win – Secret Oath = $50

Top pick: Secret Oath (3/2)

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Coaching Club American Oaks Saratoga

Both coming out of attempts against the males in the Triple Crown series, and first and second in the Kentucky Oaks before that, Nest and Secret Oath renew acquaintances in Saturday’s Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga.

Despite running second behind Secret Oath in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, Nest is the likely favorite in the 9-furlong feature. When last seen she was a very good second behind her stablemate Mo Donegal in the Belmont Stakes last month.

A Grade 1 winning daughter of Curlin, the Todd Pletcher-trained 3-year-old filly will be looking for her fourth career stakes win on Saturday in what will be her eighth lifetime start.

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Secret Oath has scored four straight impressive victories against her own sex. In two of her last three races, though, she has faced the boys, finishing third in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby and fourth in the Preakness.

In between those two efforts was a clear cut two-length victory over Nest in the Kentucky Oaks. Like her main rival, the daughter of Arrogate is a three-time stakes winner overall.

All three of the other fillies in the $500,000 Coaching Club Oaks are stakes winners.

Butterbean won the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks last out; Society is unbeaten in three starts, including a listed stakes victory at Churchill Downs last time; and Nostalgic won the Grade 3 Gazelle at Aqueduct two starts back.

Coaching Club American Oaks Predictions and Race Analysis

Nest

A dominant winner of the Grade 1 Ashland three starts back, this regally bred daughter of Curlin never showed that quick burst of speed needed to stay with Secret Oath and she finished second as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks.

When stretched out to 12 furlongs for the Belmont Stakes against the boys, she leveled off beautifully down the lane to be second best behind Mo Donegal. Off that big performance, I do expect her to be favored over her rival again on Saturday.

Cutting back to 9 furlongs here, she will need to stay with Secret Oath as they come out of the far turn at Saratoga. If her rival spurts away, she will have a hard time once again running her down. The Todd Pletcher-trained filly is very classy, but I only like her second best here.

Secret Oath

When her sire Arrogate visited Saratoga six summers ago, we were treated to something special. Can his daughter show a similar affinity for the Spa? I am not expecting a track record runaway, but I am looking for a big performance from this classy filly.

Off since a tough trip fourth in the Preakness nine weeks ago, she has been training lights out for her legendary trainer. In her last four races against fillies, she has been pretty dominant, with Nest coming closest to her when two lengths behind in the Kentucky Oaks.

I believe 9 furlongs is in her sweet spot and that she has a bit more of an explosive turn of foot than her main rival. In a race featuring the top two 3-year-old fillies, I like her chances to beat Nest again. She is the top pick.

Nostalgic

Making her first start since the Kentucky Oaks, she was somewhat dismissed on that afternoon despite coming in off a pair of nice wins. The bettors were right, as she proved no match for the top two and checked in tenth in the 14-horse field.

Trained by Bill Mott, the Medaglia d’Oro filly did find a bit of trouble there, so maybe she can show serious improvement in this small field, and she was clearly improving before the Kentucky Oaks disappointment.

Still, though, she has faced Nest twice and Secret Oath once, and as of yet, has not looked to be quite up to their class.

Society

Unbeaten in three career starts, this daughter of Gun Runner will be tested for class on Saturday. While she has not exactly blown her competition away thus far, she has progressed nicely and earned solid stakes win at Churchill Downs last time.

She will need to take another big step forward here, though, as she faces easily the best competition of her lightly raced career. The good news is she looks to have the most speed in a race without much early pace.

That ability should have her involved early, and perhaps she can get brave in the stretch, but the two favorites are not likely to get away with too much when the real running begins.

Butterbean

This Kenny McPeek-trained filly has come a long way of late. Still a maiden after five career starts, the daughter of Klimt has now rattled off three straight victories.

After breaking her maiden nicely in late May at Churchill Downs, she shipped into Prairie Meadows for back-to-back stakes wins, including the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks just two weeks ago. In each of her stakes wins, she came from well back and flew by her competition down the stretch.

While she is obviously going better than ever of late, this looks like both a tough spot for her from a class perspective, as well as race dynamics. It seems unlikely that she can out finish both Secret Oath and Nest here.

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How to Watch the Coaching Club American Oaks

What Coaching Club American Oaks (Grade 1)
Location Saratoga
Time Saturday, July 23 — 3:16pm Eastern time
How to Watch Fox Sports
Purse $500,000
Image for Brian Zipse

AUTHOR

Brian Zipse

219 Articles

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

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