Trainer Chad Brown holds a strong hand for Sunday's $700K Saratoga Oaks Invitational (G3) at Saratoga. It's the second leg of the Turf Tiara, whose first leg was last month's Belmont Oaks (G1), and third and final leg, the Jockey Club Oaks. All three legs are purse'd at $700K.
The Saratoga Oaks is contested at 1 3/16 miles on the Turf, restricted to three-year-old fillies. The Post Time is Sunday August 8th, 5:39 PM ET. Let's take a look at the field and a few competitors.
HIGHER TRUTH: 5-1
GAM'S MISSION: 8-1
PLUM ALI: 5-1
CON LIMA: 7-2
ROCKY SKY: 3-1
CREATIVE FLAIR: 7-2
OUT OF SORTS: 15-1
Chad Brown's duo consists of Michael J. Ryan, Jeff Drown, and Team Hanley's HIGHER TRUTH, a GALILEO-bred filly who breaks from the rail at odds of 5-1. And Peter M. Brant's ROCKY SKY, a ROCK OF GIBRALTAR-bred filly who breaks from the six hole at odds of 3-1.
ROCKY SKY will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. while making her U.S. racing debut. She exits a Stakes win in Europe, about three months back. Stablemate HIGHER TRUTH exits a solid third place finish in last month's Belmont Oaks, producing a new top speed figure in her first try against graded competition. She'll be ridden by Jose Ortiz.
The European presence is ignorable in this race. British trainer Charlie Appleby sends out CREATIVE FLAIR from the seventh slot at odds of 7-2. She was last seen running third in the G3 Prix Chloe in Chantilly. She has never finished outside of the top three in five previous starts. Jockey Mike Smith gets the call.
The other Euro-competitor, Blue Devil Racing Stable's MESSIDOR, hails from the Joseph O'Brien barn and breaks from post position two. She's 12-1 on the morning-line with jockey John Velazquez on the saddle. The daughter of VADAMOS comes into the race with a pair of third place finishes from her last two starts.
Trainer Todd Pletcher also has a strong contender in the race. He sends out CON LIMA for owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Joseph F. Graffeo, Del Toro, Eric Nikolaus and Troy Johnson. The daughter of COMMISSIONER breaks from post position five with odds of 7-2 on the morning-line. She was a runner-up in last month's Belmont Oaks, a race that produced a new top speed figure. Jockey Flavien Prat will be on the saddle.