Queen Goddess makes winning move to dirt in American Oaks

Queen Goddess makes winning move to dirt in American Oaks
Photo: Benoit / Santa Anita

In her first start on dirt, trainer Michael McCarthy’s Queen Goddess handled the conditions with aplomb as she dictated the pace throughout and took Sunday’s off-the-turf, $300,000 American Oaks at Santa Anita by 2 3/4 lengths.

Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Queen Goddess got the 1 1/4 miles in 2:04.72. Originally designated as a Grade 1 at a 1 1/4 miles on turf, the eventual graded status of Sunday's running will be decided in the coming days by the American Graded Stakes Committee.

Comfortable and well within herself on the lead, Queen Goddess was challenged briefly approaching the furlong pole by stablemate Nicest, but Queen Goddess was simply too much on the day.

A close third in a second condition allowance going 1 1/8 miles on turf at Del Mar on Nov. 25, Queen Goddess was off at 14-1 in a field of 10 sophomore fillies and paid $31.20, $12.80 and $7.00.

Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and TOLO Thoroughbreds, Queen Goddess, a Kentucky-bred filly by Empire Maker, picked up her first stakes win today and improved her overall mark to 6: 3-1-1. With the winner’s share of $180,000, she hiked her earnings to $303,080.

Click here for Santa Anita entries and results.

Off at 7-1 with John Velazquez, Irish-bred Nicest came in second, 3 1/4 lengths in front of Fluffy Socks and paid $8.40 and $5.00. With Mike Smith up, Fluffy Socks never threatened for the win but finished three lengths in front of long shot Ivy League. Off at 6-1, Fluffy Socks paid $4.80 to show.

The disappointment in the race was heavily favored Going Global. Off at 4-5 with Flavien Prat, she knifed her way into contention five-sixteenths from home but came up empty in the drive, finishing sixth in her first try on dirt.

Fractions were 23.30, 47.62, 1:12.87 and 1:38.14.

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