Three-year-old filly Nest made a strong case for year-end honors with a dazzling 12 ¼-length victory in the 106th renewal of the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday, July 23.
Owned by Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Michael House, Nest entered the CCA Oaks off a game runner-up effort to stablemate Mo Donegal when facing the boys in the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 11. Prior to that outing, Nest finished second to Secret Oath in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and captured the Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland in April.
Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Nest raced in close attendance of the early pace set by Society. Nest put a head in front through a half-mile in :47.46 and was briefly challenged by Secret Oath heading into the far turn but. After shrugging off Secret Oath’s short-lived bid, Nest opened up by 4 ½ lengths in the stretch and strolled home in hand to win by 12 ¼ lengths, stopping the timer in 1:51.04 for the 1 1/8 miles.
With the win, Nest, who is trained by Todd Pletcher, increased her bankroll to $1,405,550 and improved her record to 8-5-2-1. Bred in Kentucky by Ashview Farm and Colts Neck Stable, Nest is a daughter of Curlin and is out of the A.P. Indy mare Marion Ravenwood and was a $350,000 Keeneland September Sale graduate.
“She’s showed up every race of her life,” Pletcher said of Nest after winning the CCA Oaks for a record-extending eighth time. “The last two trips, she was sort of bottled up in both the Oaks and the Belmont, and she had no place to go. She could have advanced sooner than she did, but she still closed well. That was one of the things we were working on today.
“We’ve run a lot of horses in the Belmont over the years, but we’ve never had one come out any better than she did. She had great energy and she gained weight since that race. She gave us every indication she was ready to run back. Originally, we thought we should wait for the Alabama, but she was just doing too good to bypass this race.”
Both Nest and runner-up Secret Oath could meet again in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 20.