Let no one accuse Sharing of dodging either travel or terrific competition. And the Grade 1 American Oaks at Santa Anita Park provides the 3-year-old filly both elements for her considerable resume.

Sharing-American Oaks
Trainer Graham Motion’s Sharing already owns a Grade 1 win at the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She goes for her second as the 3/1 favorite in the American Oaks at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Horsephotos.com)

Run on the turf, the 1 ¼-mile American Oaks is the final Grade 1 event of the year for 3-year-old fillies. It is the first of three Grade 1 races on Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring Meet opening-day card. This is the seventh edition of the race at Santa Anita, following 12 races at the late Hollywood Park.

And the American Oaks takes Sharing and nine others across 10 furlongs, a distance few usually travel. In Sharing’s case, it takes her back to the West Coast for the second time in less than a month. Last time out, the daughter of sprinting star Speightstown finished a gutsy fourth in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar. A gutsy fourth by only three-quarters of a length.

The Matriarch was the Maryland-based Sharing’s first trip west this year. Even as it marked her first off-the-board finish in nine races, it provided her a career-best 111 Equibase Speed Figure against older horses. This is a filly getting faster with every race.

American Oaks Brings Sharing Back to Familiar Turf

Sharing is 2-for-4 in 2020, collecting victories in the Black-Type Tepin Stakes and the Grade 2 Edgewood stakes, both at Churchill Downs. Sandwiched between those May and September wins was a solid second at the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. Do the travel math and Santa Anita is Sharing’s fourth track in five 2020 races.

Not that Santa Anita or the Grade/Group 1 class is foreign to her. Sharing ended her 2-year-old campaign right here at Santa Anita, winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. That was one of six victories in nine races, accounting for much of Sharing’s $1.05 million in career earnings.

So the speed is there. The track familiarity is there. The shipping issue seems to be a non-issue. And Sharing gets another crack at her age group. About the only question concerning the 3/1 morning line favorite is whether she can go the 1 ¼ miles. Sharing has never run more than 1 1/16 miles.

Sharing Carries Good Distance Genes

Which is where her dam’s pedigree comes in. Yes, Speightstown provides the classic sprinter’s speed, but dam Shared Account should take care of the distance. She won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at 1 3/8 miles.

There are depth and options in the American Oaks, should you fear Sharing’s ability to conquer 10 furlongs. One of those comes from the same Eclipse Thoroughbred ownership group that owns Sharing. That is Red Lark (10/1), whose California base removes any jet lag issues.

Last seen finishing fourth by only 1 ¾ lengths in October’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes at Keeneland, Red Lark does have a Grade 1 win on the resume. That came at the Del Mar Oaks in August, complete with career-best 117 Equibase Speed Figure and victories over two race foes here: Neige Blanche and Guitty. Including her maiden-breaking win at Santa Anita back in February, both of Red Lark’s victories came at nine furlongs.

Red Lark Flies Past Load Management Concerns

That suggests this distance shouldn’t be an issue. But perhaps stamina may be one. This is Red Lark’s ninth race of 2020. She’s hit the board in four of them: two wins, a second and a third. The second came at the Grade 3 Wilshire Stakes at Santa Anita.

From there, two Chad Brown shippers warrant examination. The first is Duopoly (4/1), who makes her sixth start in as many tracks this year. Duopoly is 3-for-5, claiming victories at Monmouth Park, Saratoga and – last out – at Aqueduct in the Black-Type stakes Winter Memories. The daughter of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom finished third in her only graded stakes race – the Grade 3 Valley View Stakes at Keeneland.

American Oaks

Morning Line (Jockey)

  1. Red Lark, 10/1 (Drayden Van Dyke)
  2. Miss Addie Pray, 30/1 (Mike Smith)
  3. Capital Structure, 4/1 (Joel Rosario)
  4. Going to Vegas, 8/1 (Mario Gutierrez)
  5. Lucky Money, 7/2 (Ricardo Santana Jr.)
  6. Guitty, 20/1 (Juan Hernandez)
  7. California Kook, 12/1 (Ricardo Gonzalez)
  8. Duopoly, 4/1 (Flavien Prat)
  9. Sharing, 3/1 (John Velazquez)
  10. Neige Blanche,12/1 (Umberto Rispoli)

That’s one more graded stakes outing than her stablemate: Capital Structure (4/1). The English-bred Capital Structure is 2-for-3 this year. She captured a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Belmont Park by 2 ¾ lengths in October.

The pick: Sharing. Hall of Famer John Velazquez gets his own frequent-flier miles here, coming west to navigate Sharing back on the winning path against her own age group. It should be a successful trip that will foretell where she’ll race in 2021. But exotic bettors should keep an eye on Red Lark, who provides value and sleeper potential from her rail position.