Well, those clamoring for the undefeated and unchallenged Songbird to step it up a notch finally got what we wanted.
On Father’s Day, Sunday afternoon, owner Rick Porter announced to the Daily Racing Form that Songbird would be heading east to Saratoga. There she will compete in the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks, a race that will be used as a springboard to the Grade I Alabama Stakes.
Yes, these two races are still against her own division, but they will feature the best within her division. She could wind up meeting sprinting sensation Carina Mia, Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia or Kentucky Oaks favorite Rachel’s Valentina in at least one of those two potential spots.
Those three fillies will pose a much bigger threat to Songbird than most of the other fillies she’s been beating in Southern California.
Cathryn Sophia has shown that she could be capable of running with Songbird, if not beating her on her best day. Thoro-Graph, one of the most detailed speed rating services in racing has rated the best efforts of both Cathryn Sophia and Carina Mia, well ahead of the best efforts of Songbird.
This will also represent the farthest that Songbird has ever shipped away from home. She shipped to Keeneland, in Kentucky, for the Breeders’ Cup, but Kentucky is more of a middle-ground state. This time, Song will be shipping to New York to Saratoga, the “Graveyard of Champions.”
The Graveyard has claimed three of the last four Triple Crown winners, and has thwarted several other notable horses — one of them being the mighty Man O’War. With this in mind, the question of whether Songbird can handle the tricky Saratoga course becomes a very legitimate one.
Another thing the champion will have to face, outside of the new track and new competition, will be the smoldering East Coast humidity. We may not have the blistering temperatures that the West Coast features, but humidity kills and there is plenty of that during the summertime on the East Coast.
Will Songbird triumph?
Will she conquer not only the new faces, but the East Coast summer humidity and the Graveyard of Champions?
Only time will tell, and I for one am looking forward to finally seeing this phenomenal filly in action!