After rallying last-to-first in the San Clemente H. (G2), Madam Dancealot can confirm herself as the meet’s leading 3-year-old filly with a victory in Saturday’s $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (G1). She will square off against 12 sophomore rivals in the 1 1/8-mile turf test on the Pacific Classic (G1) undercard.
An Irish-bred daughter of Sir Prancealot, Madam Dancealot was imported to the United States last fall following an English Group 3 win but didn’t fire when up the track in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). Transferred to trainer Richard Baltas, the chestnut’s sophomore season got off to a disappointing start with a pair of unplaced efforts, but she’s turned things around in her last three starts by recording two wins and a close second versus stakes foes at Santa Anita.
Madam Dancealot was dismissed at 21-1 odds in the San Clemente but figures to challenge for favoritism Saturday with a returning Jamie Theriot.
Beau Recall returns to California following a sixth versus better in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1). She finished second in three consecutive stakes beforehand to Sircat Sally, who sustained a career-ending injury in the San Clemente, and Beau Recall turned in a big performance when just missing by a neck in the Honeymoon (G2) two back. Joe Talamo rides for Simon Callaghan.
Multiple Grade 2-placed Vexatious offered a fine showing when fourth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) two starts ago, but connections decided to try her on turf following a dull fifth in the Mother Goose (G1) at Belmont Park on July 1. The Neil Drysdale-trained daughter of Giant’s Causeway will pick up the services of Rafael Bejarano.
Grade 3 vixen Dream Dancing will invade from the East Coast for Mark Casse and Julien Leparoux will be up. She finished second in the Edgewood (G3) at Churchill Downs and third in the Wonder Again (G3) at Belmont Park before a disappointing seventh in the Lake George (G3) at Saratoga last time.
Wesley Ward has an intriguing entrant in Con Te Partiro, who stretches out to two turns following an upset tally in the one-mile Sandringham H. at Royal Ascot. A turf sprint stakes winner in New York last summer, the Scat Daddy filly has experience on the West Coast, finishing second in the Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita last November.
Meadowsweet is stepping up to make her stakes debut for Cliff Sise Jr. following a nice allowance score over the course, narrowly edging Pacific Wind, who will also wheel back for the Del Mar Oaks. Pacific Wind will make her third stakes attempt for Peter Eurton after thirds in the Senorita (G3) and Honeymoon.
Other runners include Storm the Hill, Kenda and Blame It on Alphie, who respectively finished fourth-through-sixth in the San Clemente; and multiple stakes-placed Tapped.