Reprinted from Racing Post
Report: USA, Saturday
Santa Anita: Santa Anita Oaks (Grade 1) 1m1/2f, dirt, 3yo fillies
THE surface was different but the result was precisely the same as outstanding three-year-old Songbird (Jerry Hollendorfer/Mike Smith) made light of sloppy conditions to register another comfortable success.
Sent off a 1-10 shot, the unbeaten daughter of Medaglia d’Oro was sent straight to the front and won as she liked on her final start before the Kentucky Oaks on May 6.
“If it doesn’t make an owner smile the way she’s been running, maybe you should try another business,” said Rick Porter, who owns the filly in the name of Fox Hill Farms.
“It’s so fun to watch,” he added. “We always figured that she could handle an off track. We’ve found that most really good horses can handle any kind of surface – today, she didn’t show us anything different. It’s so exciting to see the horse perform time after time unasked. I’m so fortunate to have a horse like this.”
With a career record of seven wins from seven starts, Songbird is considered by many experts to be the best three-year-old of either sex in the States.
However, her connections insisted they are not tempted to switch her to the Kentucky Derby instead of staying with her own gender at Churchill Downs.
“No – I planned from the very beginning we’d keep her on the filly path,” said Porter. “There’s a lot of good races, and there will be a time, if she’s good enough, to take on the boys. I think she’s too young to take on the boys with that 20-horse stampede [in the Kentucky Derby]. I think the Classic would be too tough for her as a three-year-old.”
The official winning margin on Saturday was three-and-three-quarter lengths over Mokat. “She’s just incredible,” said jockey Mike Smith. “I feel so blessed and I keep pinching myself, having to remind myself that I’m the one that gets to keep the weight on her. That’s really all I do. She’s so professional, so good at everything.”