Where do Secret Oath, A Mo Reay stand after weekend races?

Where do Secret Oath, A Mo Reay stand after weekend races?
Photo: Ben Breland / Eclipse Sportswire

After a long drought, Secret Oath found the winner’s circle last Saturday in the Grade 2 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn, and A Mo Reay won for the third time under trainer Brad Cox in the Beholder Mile (G1) at Santa Anita.

But even though A Mo Reay won a Grade 1, Secret Oath probably made the better impression in terms of the main competition defeated.

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Here are detailed recaps of their wins.

Azeri Stakes

After the Kentucky Oaks (G1) last May, Secret Oath went south in form with five straight losses. She still ran well enough to pick up second against Nest in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Alabama Stakes (G1), but she gave indications that she needed a break.

Secret Oath went on a four-month layoff after the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last November. She then came back in the Azeri last weekend to defeat Clairiere, one of the top runners in this division who ran a game third in the Distaff. 

In fairness, Clairiere found herself in a risky position under Joel Rosario by traveling on the inside when approaching the far turn, while Secret Oath began to tip outside for an unobstructed move in the clear.

Secret Oath went five wide under Tyler Gaffalione, but without any traffic problems, she continued to build momentum in the stretch.

In the early stretch, Rosario opted not to wait for room any longer and tipped Clairiere outside. But Secret Oath reached Hot and Sultry on the lead and took control.

Once Secret Oath secured the lead, she opened up toward the wire and finished strong for a 2 3/4-length win over an unlucky Clairiere in second. Interstatedaydream finished only a half a length behind Clairiere in third, and Hot and Sultry faded to fourth after briefly leading in the early stretch.

Regardless of Clairiere’s trip, Secret Oath indicated she is in top form. She finished the 1 1/16miles in 1:43.26, which earned the reigning Kentucky Oaks champion a 97 Beyer Speed Figure from Daily Racing Form and 120 on TimeformUS.

Expect Secret Oath to maintain her role as a major player this season.

Beholder Mile

A Mo Reay showed signs of talent under Todd Pletcher before switching to trainer Brad Cox, but she never seemed to fulfill her potential. Under Cox, A Mo Ready has built a three-race winning streak in stakes races, with the most recent win coming in the Beholder Mile.

From a trip standpoint, there is little to discuss regarding A Mo Reay’s stalking trip behind the Bob Baffert-trained stablemates Ganadora and Fun to Dream, who had no choice but to press Ganadora early.

On the far turn, Fun to Dream secured the lead, but A Mo Reay inched closer. Both fillies seemed headed toward a fun stretch battle.

Fun to Dream took the turn wide and opened up on A Mo Reay in second, but the new 1 1 1/2-length margin did not last long as A Mo Ready responded again in mid-stretch and closed back the gap.

A Mo Reay dug in to catch Fun to Dream at the wire. She completed the one mile in 1:36.25, which earned her a 95 Beyer Speed Figure. As of this writing, the TimeformUS Speed Figure is not in the system yet.

Even though A Mo Reay’s 95 Beyer for winning the Beholder is not far off Secret Oath’s 97 for winning the Azeri, it feels more impressive to defeat Clairiere than Fun to Dream, even if Fun to Dream carried a four-race win streak into the Beholder. No one questions Clairiere’s role as one of the top fillies or mares, but Fun to Dream is still new.

Not only did Clairiere finish third in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last year, she won the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) and the Shuvee Stakes (G2) over Malathaat in second in each race. In contrast, Fun to Dream won the La Brea Stakes (G1) and Santa Monica Stakes (G2) over Awake at Midnyte in second twice. Awake at Midnyte, who faded to sixth in the Beholder Mile after lacking a late punch, does not compare to Clairiere.

A Mo Reay’s new-found thirst for winning under Cox has been interesting to watch, but it does feel questionable whether she can run with established names such as Secret Oath and Clairiere. With that said, she is improving. 

Meet Reinier Macatangay

My first time at the racetrack came as a 5-year-old kid at Santa Anita Park. For most of my younger life, that was the only track I attended other the occasional visit to Hollywood Park. 

Years later, after graduating California State University, Stanislaus with an English MA, I began writing for Lady and the Track. From late 2014-2016, my articles were seen on a weekly basis and covered handicapping, interviews with well-known racing personalities, fashion and more. 

The handicapping style I use concentrates on pace analysis. Some horses are compromised by the pace. Others are helped. Handicappers just starting out cannot easily see how pace affects the finish, so with this blog, I hope to help those unsure of how to apply pace into their handicapping and post-race analysis. 

On an unrelated note, I enjoy video games and attending anime or comic-book conventions. I am currently based in Kentucky, but spend a lot of time traveling between there and California.

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