Malathaat to Skip Belmont Stakes, Point for Saratoga

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Shadwell Stable’s undefeated 3-year-old filly Malathaat , winner of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) April 30, will skip the June 5 Belmont Stakes (G1) and point toward this summer’s Saratoga Race Course meeting, according to Tamarkuz Media, which publicizes racing news related to Shadwell.

The long-term goal for the Stonestreet-bred, Todd Pletcher-trained divisional leader is the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar, according to Shadwell Farm’s vice president and general manager Rick Nichols. 

“Todd and I have talked and have elected to bypass the Belmont,” Nichols told Tamarkuz Media. “She is a little light right now because she is still growing into the frame that she has. We want to give her a nice break and hopefully put some weight on her. 

“We will point her toward the CCA Oaks at Saratoga, which is 12 weeks from the Kentucky Oaks,” he continued. “Then we will aim for the Alabama, which is the main target, four weeks later. Then we will be able to give her a nice 10-week breather and head toward the Breeders’ Cup.”

The $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) is scheduled for July 24 over the same nine furlongs of the Kentucky Oaks, while the $600,000 Alabama  Stakes (G1) is slated for Aug. 21 at 1 1/4 miles.

The Breeders’ Cup takes place on Nov. 5-6 at Del Mar. Whether she points to the $2 million Longines Distaff (G1) at 1 1/8 miles or $6 million Longines Classic (G1) at 1 1/4 miles will be determined at a later date. 

In a post-race news conference following the Kentucky Oaks, Nichols expressed interest in eventually testing Malathaat against males.

Even without Malathaat in the Belmont Stakes, Pletcher has other potential prospects for the final leg of the Triple Crown: Bourbonic , Known Agenda , and Promise Keeper .

The newly elected Hall of Fame trainer is a three-time winner of the Belmont Stakes, capturing it first with the filly Rags to Riches  in 2007. Rags to Riches defeated Curlin  , who sired Malathaat.

Malathaat overcame a poor start to win the Kentucky Oaks, edging Search Results  by a neck in a long stretch drive. The latter is expected to return in the one-mile Acorn Stakes (G1) on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

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Malathaat, bred in Kentucky and out of the grade 1-winning A.P. Indy mare Dreaming of Julia , is 5-for-5, having also captured the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) this spring, and the Demoiselle Stakes (G2), Tempted Stakes, and a maiden race last year at age 2. 

Consigned by Denali Stud to the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, she was one of the final in-person purchases of her late owner, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, when he acquired her for $1.05 million. She is already the third-highest earner for Shadwell’s 36-year U.S.-based operation, trailing only Breeders’ Cup-winning champions Invasor  and Lahudood 



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