Oscar Nominated faces 10 in American Derby; Modesty attracts eight

Profile Picture: Jen Caldwell

Jen Caldwell

July 8th, 2016

Oscar Nominated was a force to be reckoned with sprinting on the turf early this year, but was diverted to the Kentucky Derby (G1) after winning the Spiral Stakes (G3) on the all-weather at Turfway Park.

Following a 17th-place finish in the Derby, trainer Mike Maker sent the chestnut sophomore back to the grass and he’ll continue his turf journey on Saturday in the $125,000 American Derby (G3) as part of the Million Preview Day at Arlington.

Oscar Nominated returned to the turf in the Penn Mile (G3) on June 4 and ran a one-paced fifth at 15-1 on that occasion. Earlier this season he captured the Black Gold Stakes and just missed by a neck in the Keith Gee Memorial while going 7 1/2 furlongs at Fair Grounds. The Kitten’s Joy colt will attempt once again to stretch out against turf stakes rivals in this spot under Corey Lanerie.

Swagger Jagger also ran in the Spiral, but could do no better than 11th in that nine-furlong affair against his winning stablemate. He wouldn’t be seen in competition again until just missing by three parts of a length when third in the Arlington Classic (G3) last out on May 28. Mitchell Murrill was aboard that day and retains the mount.

One Mean Man took second in the Arlington Classic, a head behind the winner, and would go on to secure a head victory himself against allowance rivals on June 25. The Bernie Flint-trained gray also beat Oscar Nominated in the Keith Gee Memorial by a neck and gets Robby Albarado back in the irons as he attempts to earn his first graded score.

J R’s Holiday has a chance to return to the winner’s circle in this spot. The Jose Garoffalo pupil took the Kitten’s Joy Stakes to kick off his sophomore campaign and rallied from last to be just 1 1/2 lengths back in fourth in the Palm Beach Stakes (G3) next out. The Harlan’s Holiday colt also came running for a runner-up effort in the Transylvania Stakes (G3) at Keeneland in April, and will try to put his uncharacteristic last out eighth-place finish in the American Turf (G2) behind him.

The $100,000 Modesty Handicap (G3) sending eight distaffers 1 3/16 miles on the turf kicks off the stakes action on Saturday at Arlington.

Irish-bred Faufiler triumphed in the February 27 Sand Springs Stakes at Gulfstream Park in only her second start for trainer Graham Motion since coming to the United States, then just missed by a half-length when second in the May 5 Royal Heroine Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.

The bay mare traveled to Belmont Park in her most recent effort, which resulted in a fifth in the Just a Game Stakes (G1), and gets Jose Valdivia Jr. in the saddle for this go around.

Al’s Gal held Sequiota to second by 5 1/2 lengths when the pair last met in the Keertana Stakes and will try to get the best of that rival yet again in the Modesty. While the Keertana was the last start for Al’s Gal, Sequiota went on to take an allowance at Churchill going a mile. Lanerie will be aboard Al’s Gal while Fernando De La Cruz has piloting duties on Sequiota.

No Fault of Mine and Marypop could have something to say about the Modesty outcome. The former was second by a neck in the Arlington Matron (G3) on May 28 while the latter will be making her stateside debut off a win in a French Group 3 contest on April 28. Shaun Bridgmohan and Carlos Marquez Jr. are the respective assigned jockeys.

Oscar Nominated photo courtesy of Turfway Park/Coady Photography

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