Fox Hill Farms’ Songbird and jockey Mike Smith cruise to a easy victory in the G2 Summertime Oaks
Fox Hill Farm’s Songbird will soon be heading to Saratoga Race Course, now that the undefeated star filly has been confirmed to target the Grade 1, $ 500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on Sunday, July 24.
“We plan on flying in five or six days before the race,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said by phone Friday morning.
The Hall of Famer added that Songbird will keep to a light routine after her New York arrival, allowing the Eclipse Award winner time to adjust to her new surroundings.
“[Usually] I stand them in the gate and school them, he said. “Let them look around and get over the racetrack a few times.”
This will be the first Saratoga starter for the West Coast-based Hollendorfer since shipping east with Sweet Lulu to win the 2013 Grade 1 Test.
As announced by the New York Racing Association this week, the purse for the Coaching Club American Oaks will be increased to $ 500,000 from $ 300,000, contingent upon Songbird’s participation in the prestigious race. Under the new pay scale, the winner’s award will be raised to $ 300,000 from the current guarantee of $ 180,000. The sliding scale of awards will increase for the remainder of the field, with $ 100,000 awarded for second place, $ 50,000 to third, $ 25,000 to fourth, $ 15,000 to fifth place and $ 10,000 divided equally among the remaining finishers.
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