Paradise Woods established herself as one of the top 3-year-old fillies in the country with a dominating performance in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks on April 8 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. She finished 11 3/4 lengths ahead of favorite Abel Tasman - the largest margin of victory ever recorded in the race. The previous record was held by Silver Spoon, who won the 1959 edition by 10 1/2 lengths.
“I have always been high on her,” trainer Richard Mandella said. “I wasn’t that confident, but I fully expected her to run well. I didn’t think she would do this.”
The filly - whose owners include Marty and Pam Wygod of Rancho Santa Fe - covered the 1 1/16 miles on the dirt in 1:42.53 under jockey Flavien Prat.
The next stop for Paradise Woods is expected to be the Grade I Longines Kentucky Oaks - the filly equivalent of the Kentucky Derby - on May 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville.