Horsemen who hope to win next Saturday's Grade I, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks have to accomplish something no one has ever done: defeat unbeaten champion Songbird.
That said, Richard Baltas plans to double-team last year's Eclipse Award winner as the best two-year-old filly, sending out Forever Darling and Mokat, who have been prepping well for their assignment in the prestigious 1 1/16-mile race.
“They worked separately last week and finished up good,” Baltas said. “We're going against a special horse in Songbird, but I'm happy with how they're doing.
“You know you're up against it, but both times I shipped Forever Darling out of town, she didn't run well, so my owner and I decided to stay here and try for second. She's two for two at Santa Anita.”
The chestnut daughter of Congrats broke her maiden at Santa Anita by nearly two lengths last Sept. 26, and won the Grade II Santa Ynez by a half-length on Jan. 2.
She was beaten nearly 18 and 19 lengths, respectively, in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland Oct. 30 and the Grade II Rachel Alexandra at the Fair Grounds Feb. 20.
“Mokat, has a different style,” Baltas said. “She'll probably come from way off the pace, make one run and hopefully we can get a piece of it.”
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