California-bred Spanish Queen called upon her considerable class to rally three wide turning for home en route to a three quarter length win in Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 American Oaks at Santa Anita. Ridden by Brice Blanc and trained by Richard Baltas, who celebrated his 54th birthday, the 3-year-old filly by the late Tribal Rule negotiated 1 ¼ miles on turf in 2:01.93 and stamped herself as one of the nation’s top 3-year-old fillies.
Owned by her breeders, Jack Nakkashian, Harry Bederian and Harout Kamberian, Spanish Queen was heavily favored at 3-5 in a field of six sophomore distaffers and paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.10. .
Lightly raced, Spanish Queen, who came off a 1 ½ length win in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles Honeymoon Stakes May 3, notched her third win from four starts and with the winner’s share of $240,000, increased her earnings to $423,600.
Sent to the lead by Tyler Baze, runner-up Feathered, who came off a Grade III win at Churchill Downs on May 1 and shipped in from New York for trainer Todd Pletcher, set contested fractions of 23.97, 47.68, 1:12.24 and 1:36.70, and settled for second money, three quarters of a length in front of Consumer Credit. Off at 5-1, Feathered paid $4.80 and $3.40.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, trainer Chad Brown’s Consumer Credit was in close attendance but trailed early while saving ground, shifted out into the four path a furlong from home and was third best. Off at 5-1, she paid $2.80 to show.