Sharla Rae bounces back in Del Mar Oaks

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Jen Caldwell

August 16th, 2015

Sharla Rae entered Saturday’s $300,750 Del Mar Oaks (G1) off a seventh-placing in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) and a fifth-place run in the American Oaks (G1), both at 1 1/4 miles, and the cutback in distance to nine furlongs seemed right up her alley as she rallied for a three-quarter length victory under jockey James Graham.

The reinsman angled Sharla Rae over for a ground-saving rail trip all the way down the backstretch as Paulina’s Love led the way through splits of :23.08, :46.63 and 1:10.50 while chased by Her Emmynency.

Sharla Rae was just biding her time in third, and took back a bit entering the final turn to angle outside of Her Emmynency as that one began her move.

Paulina’s Love was fading fast and Her Emmynency pounced to take command, but couldn’t hold onto the lead as Sharla Rae kicked into gear and swept past to finish 1 1/8 miles over the firm turf in 1:46.58.

Her Emmynency, the 14-1 second longest shot in the eight-filly field, held second by 1 1/2 lengths over 7-5 favorite Prize Exhibit while 3-1 second choice Sunset Glow filled out the superfecta another neck back in fourth.

Sharla Rae was sent off at 6-1 in the Del Mar Oaks, but ran like a favorite to earn her first graded score. The Doug O’Neill trainee boasts three other stakes wins, including the California Oaks from earlier this season.

Sharla Rae & exuberant James Graham photo courtesy of Benoit Photos