Surprising Wonder Lady Anne L shook off Sugar Shake on the final turn and rode a big lead to victory over the favored Pine Island in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) on a muddy Belmont Park track Saturday, closing day of the spring/summer meeting.
Ridden with urgency late by Edgar Prado, the 9-1 shot Wonder Lady Anne L had just enough left in the tank to win the 1 1/4-mile Coaching Club for 3-year-old fillies by three-quarters of a length over Pine Island, who rallied belatedly from last for Javier Castellano. The final time was 2:04 3/5 on a track rated muddy and sealed.
An $8,000 daughter of Real Quiet
, Wonder Lady Anne had not shown any previous success on an off-track, losing the Davona Dale (gr. II) by 14 lengths on a sloppy Gulfstream track in her only other start under the conditions.
Wonder Lady Anne L was coming off a second-place finish behind Gasia in the Susan's Girl Breeders Cup as the favorite at Delaware Park. Her last victory came in Aqueduct's 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle (gr. II) in November by 2 3/4 lengths at odds of 10-1. She had lost all four of her previous starts in 2006.
Teammate broke on top from the rail after being skittish in the gate, but was soon overtaken by Sugar Shake, who held a slight edge over Wonder Lady Anne L as they battled through solid fractions of :23 4/5, :47 and 1:11 2/5. Wonder Lady Anne L took command on the turn and opened up a lead of six lengths in the stretch. She was weary in the final furlong but got the job done under strong urging from Prado.
"I didn't want to be right there early," Prado said. "I wanted to be a few lengths off the lead. She was doing things so easy I just let her do her thing. She took the lead at the top of the stretch, and I just let her run."
Richard Dutrow Jr. trains Wonder Lady Anne L, who won for the third time in 12 lifetime as the fifth choice and paid $20.60, $6.60 and $4.90. She earned $180,000 for owners IEAH Stables, Jachlen Farm, Sanford H. Robbins LLC and Orchard Kids Stable, pushing her bankroll to $441,673.
"I wasn't expecting anything like that," trainer Richard Dutrow said. "She broke good, Edgar put her right there, and she just stayed there. That was cool."
Dan White and Highland Farm bred the winner, who is out of Ancho, by Wild Zone
, in Kentucky.
The 6-5 choice Pine Island ($2.80, $2.50), who came into the race off a second-place finish behind Bushfire in the Mother Goose (gr. I), beat Miss Shop ($5.70) and Richard Migliore by 1 3/4 lengths for second. Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) upsetter Lemons Forever ran on for fourth, nine lengths behind the winner.
Then came Teammate, Unbridled Belle, Sugar Shake, Baghdaria and Vague.
New York racing shifts to Saratoga on Wednesday.