Saturday, May 31, 2014
Room Service nears victory in the Grade 1 American Oaks
Room Service, already More Than Ready's top earner of 2014, added to her total in a big way with a victory in Saturday's $350,000 American Oaks (G1) on the Santa Anita Park grass.
Winner of the Grade 1 Ashland S. on Polytrack this year, Room Service now has Grade 1 wins on two different surfaces, and with her victory in the Herecomesthebride S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park in March, has three graded wins this year.
The American Oaks, the top West Coast race for 3-year-old turf fillies that was previously held at Hollywood Park until it's closing last December.
Room Service broke alertly, but in what has become her preferred style, settled near the back of the eight horse field as they went under the wire the first time. While a trio of longshots clocked six furlongs in 1:12.02, Room Service was some 10 lengths back under Shaun Bridgmohan.
Entering the final turn, Room Service was three wide but gaining on the leaders, getting within two lengths and full of run with a quarter mile to go. Still well off the rail in the stretch, the bay filly rolled to the front and was drawing off when she hit the wire 2 1/4-lengths in front.
The final time for the 1 1/4-miles was 2:01.28.
“We had a perfect trip; it really set up well for her style of running,” said Bridgmohan. “We obviously wanted a little pace to run at and we got it. I happened to work her on the grass at Churchill (five furlongs on May 6) and she’s got a great turn of foot on it. She showed that here today.”
Room Service, bred in Kentucky by her owners Gary and Mary West, is out of the Old Trieste mare Dream Lady. Room Service has earned $546,565, with a record of 4-1-2 from seven starts.
Dream Lady has produced three foals, all stakes winners. Major Gain, a full brother to Room Service, won the 2010 Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3), while half-sister Oscar Party took the 2012 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies.
As far as Room Service's next start, trainer Wayne Catalano said he would wait to explore his options. “She’s mainly a grass horse, but she will handle synthetics pretty well. We’ll talk over plans for what’s next with Mr. and Mrs. West and make a decision. It was great to be in California with the Wests. The way it worked out, you couldn’t have written a better script.”
Saturday proved to be a stellar day for More Than Ready; a few hours before Room Service's win, the WinStar stallion had his first stakes winner of the day when Regally Ready prevailed in the $65,000 Opening Verse S. at Churchill Downs.