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Abel Tasman adds CC Oaks (G1) to resume
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Abel Tasman won her third straight Grade 1 race on Sunday with a scintillating performance in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga.

The 3-year-old filly added to a stellar list of her previous wins in the Acorn S. (G1), Kentucky Oaks (G1) as well as the Starlet (G1) as a 2-year-old. She also is Bob Baffert’s first winner in the historic race.

Abel Tasman was near the back of the seven-horse field around the first turn, but with a slow pace up front, Mike Smith moved Abel Tasman all the way to the lead in less than a furlong. Summer Luck, the early pacesetter, hung with Abel Tasman until the top of the stretch, when she began to give way.

Almost immediately, Elate moved to the inside of Abel Tasman, and those two battled all the way to the wire, with Abel Tasman coming out on top by a half-length in 1:51.74 on a fast track.

"There was no pace in the race. Everyone threw the anchor out and went to slow down," Smith said of the trip. "She got into such a pretty stride and felt so good. I didn't want to get in the way of it. If I did, I felt like I'd hurt her more than help her. Once she gets in that big, beautiful stride, that's where you want her. It was there. I took it."

"'Abel' is a phenomenal filly," added Baffert assistant Jimmy Barnes. "It's her third grade 1 in a row. We're blessed to have her. She's come through each and every time. She's had to travel three times now and that says a lot for her. To pick up from your home track, go to Churchill, go to Belmont with the big sandy track, and then come here on opening weekend—it's very exciting for us."

Owned by China Horse Club and Clearsky Farm, Abel Tasman is now 6-2-0 in nine starts and has earned $1,467,060.

Baffert 2013