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Homeracing

Songbird expected to make it seven straight in Santa Anita Oaks

Profile Picture: James Scully

April 7th, 2016

Songbird can stake a claim as the best 3-year-old of any sex in training, but the unbeaten daughter of Medaglia d’Oro will stick to her own division for the time being. She’ll make her final Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep in Saturday’s $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G1) and the only suspense appears to be the margin of victory.

A convincing wire-to-wire winner in each of her six starts, Songbird possesses a 3-for-3 mark at Santa Anita and the 1 1/16-mile distance. Last year’s champion 2-year-old filly and a facile wire-to-wire heroine in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained dark bay opened 2016 with a 6 1/2-length score in the Las Virgenes (G2) and she exits a 3 ¾-length romp in the March 5 Santa Ysabel (G3).

Her closest rival from the last two starts, Land Over Sea, departed the West Coast to easily capture the recent Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and Songbird is facing six overmatched opponents on paper. She’ll show speed from the innermost post with regular rider Mike Smith.

Bellamentary is the likely second choice in her stakes bow. The Phil d’Amato trainee exits convincing wins over maiden special weight and entry-level allowance foes and the once-beaten lass retains the services of Rafael Bejarano.

Mokat and Jade Princess, the third- and fourth-placers in Santa Ysabel, are back for the Santa Anita Oaks. Forever Darling captured the Santa Ynez (G2) two starts back but will be trying to rebound from a last-place effort in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds. Completing the line-up are maiden winner Kay Kay, second to Bellamentary last time; and She’s a Warrior, third in the Las Virgenes two back but still winless from five career starts.

Songbird photo courtesy of Benoit Photos

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