Who Are The Favourites For The Del Mar Oaks 2022?
The Del Mar Oaks is one of the most exciting races on the calendar in the second half of 2022, as the attention slowly turns towards the runners that could have leading chances at the Breeders’ Cup in November.
This year’s race is likely to attract a talented field of fillies aged three, as they compete over a distance of 1 1/8 miles at Del Mar. You can read more about the race track that gives a name to this competition here: twinspires.com/race-tracks/del-mar
Del Mar Oaks Records
Three jockeys are tied for the most victories in the Del Mar Oaks, as Corey Nakatani, Chris McCarron and Bill Shoemaker have all recorded four victories.
Meanwhile, the most dominant trainer in the race’s history is Charlie Whittingham, who recorded seven victories between 1970 and 1991.
The speed record over the current distance is still held by Amorama, who won in 1:46.26 back in 2004. Last year’s edition of the race was won by Going Global, for trainer Phillip D’Amator and jockey Flavien Prat. However, the winning runner last year bypassed the Breeders’ Cup and instead landed Grade 2 victory at Del Mar in the Goldikova Stakes.
Who Could Line-Up In The Del Mar Oaks?
We are still a few weeks away from knowing which horses will be lining up in the Del Mar Oaks this year, but it promises to be a very high-class field. Below, we will go through some of the likely contenders that we could see racing at Del Mar in the Grade 1 next month.
The most interesting horse that we could see lining up at Del Mar in August is Spendarella, for trainer Graham Motion. This three-year-old has been extremely dominant on track in the U.S. throughout this year, and has won on all three starts. She won in graded company on just her second start, as she landed the G3 Herecomesthebride in astounding fashion.
She never looked like she needed to get out of second gear on that showing, and the form was franked in April, as she returned with success in the G2 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland. However, her winning run was brought to an end at Royal Ascot in June, as she was no match for the supremely talented Inspiral in the G1 Coronation Stakes. But, back on U.S. soil, she is a primary chance again.
Spendarella’s main danger could come in the form of a returning rival in the Del Mar Oaks. Dolce Zel has been in sensational form since being beaten by the Maker-trained horse in the G2 Appalachian Stakes in April. She returned with a strong second in the G2 Edgewood, before stepping up her performance level once again to win the G3 Lake George at Saratoga.
Dolce Zel is now a two-time graded winner, with the latest win in the Lake George reaching a career-best speed figure of 102. There have been certainly examples that she is improving, and this extended distance does look like it could suit her extremely well.
Phillip D’Amato-trained Bellabel could also have a leading chance in the Del Mar Oaks next month. She landed a second straight win in the U.S. last time out, which maintained her excellent run of form since moving to the D’Amato yard from Ireland in early 2022. Her last run is the standout piece of form this three-year-old, as she came out on top in the G2 San Clemente Stakes at Del Mar, reaching a speed figure of 95. She is bred to excel over this extended distance, and that makes her a solid claim at Del Mar, and she could be the one to push Spendarella the closest.