The year-end goal for multiple graded stakes winner Sarah Sis is the 7-furlong Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) in November at Santa Anita, trainer Ingrid Mason said. But, the year begins at Oaklawn, where Sarah Sis is scheduled to make her 4-year-old debut in Saturday's $100,000 American Beauty Stakes for older fillies and mares at 6 furlongs.
Probable post time for the American Beauty, the eighth of nine races, is 4:38 p.m. (Central).
Sarah Sis is the 9-5 program favorite for the American Beauty, which Mason said will serve as a prep for the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3), and a return to two-turn races, Feb. 14 at Oaklawn. The 1 1/16-mile Bayakoa is the second major local stepping stone to the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 15.
The versatile Sarah Sis won Oaklawn's $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles last March and closed her 3-year-old campaign with a victory in the $250,000 Raven Run Stakes (G2) at 7 furlongs Oct. 17 at Keeneland.
Mason said she's not concerned about cutting back to 6 furlongs, although the distance would seem to favor Super Saks, the speedy 3-1 second choice in the program, who is scheduled to break one spot outside Sarah Sis from post 3.
Sarah Sis opened 2015 with a second-place finish at 6 furlongs in the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes at Oaklawn.
“She's got plenty of speed,” Mason said. “I think the race will set up good enough for her. There's Super Saks, and, I think, we're the second speed in the race. We'll probably let her go and then try to tag her.”
Sarah Sis is scheduled to carry co-top weight of 122 pounds, including jockey Julio Felix. Felix guided Sarah Sis to victories in the Honeybee and $75,000 Panthers Stakes and $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) last year Prairie Meadows.
Super Saks was a front-running 11-length maiden winner last year at Oaklawn and won the $80,000 Dream Supreme Stakes Nov. 27 at Churchill Downs in her final start at 3 for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Super Saks is also scheduled to carry 122 pounds, including two-time Oaklawn riding champion Terry Thompson.
“I'd rather be on the outside, obviously,” Mason said. “I just wish Super Saks wasn't on my outside, because you know how that's going to go.”
Completing the projected seven-horse field from the rail out are Meshell, Chris Emigh to ride, 122 pounds; Swing It Dish, Alex Birzer, 114; Haveyougoneaway, Jareth Loveberry, 117; Donita's Ruler, Carlos Marquez Jr., 114; and Spring Included, Joe Rocco Jr., 114.
“There's a couple of horses in there that are tough, besides Super Saks,” Mason said. “It's not an easy race at all.”
Spring Included (4-1 on the morning line) won the $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes and $100,000 Carousel Stakes last year at Oaklawn, but has lost her last four starts. She will be retired and bred to Grade I winner The Big Beast with a poor performance in the American Beauty, owner Alex Lieblong said.
Meshell, Haveyougoneaway and Donita's Ruler are also stakes winners.
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