April 12, 2021

Oh Susanna beats elders in Paddock, gains spot in Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

Oh Susanna notched her first stakes win in the Paddock at Kenilworth (Photo courtesy @RacingGuru via Twitter)

Drakenstein Stud’s homebred Oh Susanna profited from a step up in distance, and a better post position, to score a breakthrough in Saturday’s Paddock S. (G1) at Kenilworth. By driving to a 1 1/2-length decision in the “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), the Australian-bred added another chapter to the legacy of sire Street Cry.

The late Darley patriarch is famously responsible for U.S. Hall of Famer Zenyatta and current Australian supermare Winx. Oh Susanna need not reach their stratospheric heights to become a top-notch filly in her own right, and her Paddock performance hints of more to come from the daughter of Street Cry and well-related Grade 2 winner Sharp Susan.

Trained by Justin Snaith for her owner/breeder Gaynor Rupert, Oh Susanna romped in her second try as a juvenile here last April, but had yet to reach the winner’s circle since. Up to a metric mile last time out, she was a hard-charging second to stablemate Snowdance in the Cape Fillies Guineas (G1). She broke a beat slow from post 13 that day and found herself at the rear as she angled over to the fence. More ground and better early position figured to help, and she got both on Saturday to improve her record to 7-2-2-1.

Oh Susanna, drawn in post 5 in this first start at about nine furlongs, was dispatched as the slight second choice, with 3-1 favoritism going to older Empress Club (G1) heroine Nother Russia. Yet Nother Russia wasn’t able to concede 13 pounds to her sophomore rivals in the Paddock, and Oh Susanna led home a trifecta for the three-year-olds, all exiting the Cape Fillies Guineas.

Jockey Grant van Niekirk bagged a textbook inside stalking spot aboard Oh Susanna, and did well to keep a lid on her eagerness to go. Tipped out and asked to lift in the stretch, Oh Susanna hit top gear as she reached the ninth furlong. She looked stronger the farther she went, clearing away in a final time of 1:51.46 on the good turf.

Lady in Black, fourth in the Cape Fillies Guineas, was runner-up in the Paddock, while Guineas third Fresnaye held the same spot here. The result could hardly have flattered Guineas vixen Snowdance any more. Nother Russia settled for fourth.

Oh Susanna is the second black-type performer for Sharp Susan, whose first foal, Indiano Jones, placed in the 2012 Summer (G2) and Grey (G3) at Woodbine. By that time, Sharp Susan had been exported to Australia. The Touch Gold mare is herself a half-sister to Grade 1-winning millionaire and sire Spring at Last. Another half-sibling, Grade 1 scorer Sharp Lisa, is in turn the dam of Foundry, who upset last September’s Metropolitan H. (G1) at Randwick, and 2016 Bahrain Trophy (G3) hero Housesofparliament, who went on to finish third in the St Leger (G1).

This is the immediate family of multiple Grade 1 turf star and $2.3 million earner Bien Bien, and further on the page, one finds recently retired sprint celebrity Caravaggio.