Undefeated Songbird said thank you very much to the decision makers in charge of boosting the purse prize structure for the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) to lure her to the event by winning the whole thing.
There was a bit of a give and take between Songbird and Carina Mia, but when the dust settled, Songbird easily won by open lengths. Something she’s grown accustomed to in her nine wins. The official margin of victory over Carina Mia was 5 1/4 lengths. Third-place finisher Flora Dora was four lengths behind Carina Mia. Mo d’Amour and Weep No More finished in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
“I asked her more than I’ve ever had to,” said jockey Mike Smith. “I take my hat off to Carina Mia. She made her run a little bit. But once I got going, I was comfortable.
“This is a tough place to just step into town—especially when you’re coming from the West Coast. The humidity factor is what it is. The air is so much thicker here. It gets to me as a rider, so I can’t imagine a horse.”
Jerry Hollendorfer’s two-year-old champion filly set the pace with fractions of :23.86, :47.52, and 1:11.63 through the first six furlongs. She won the 1 1/8-mile race in a time of 1:49.56.
“We thought we were going to get tested and we thought (jockey) Julien (Leparoux) would send (Carina Mia) at us early, which he did,” said Hollendorfer. “We got a chance to test our filly and she dug in.”
The win boosted Songbird’s career earnings to over $2.4 million.