14 Likely for American Oaks; Two New Invitations Extended
Updated: Thursday, July 1, 2004 3:18 PM
Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 8:09 AM
Edited from Hollywood Park reports
American Oaks contender Mambo Slew, winning the 2003 Miesque Stakes.
Sagitta Ra and Amorama, the respective third- and fifth-place finishers in the Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap on June 5, were extended alternate invitations Tuesday to Saturdays $750,000 American Oaks (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
Racing secretary Martin Panza invited the pair to replace Miss Vegas, who will run in the $100,000 Flawlessly Stakes on the same day, and Kalatuna, who remained in France.
Sagitta Ra has recorded a first, a second, and a third in three outings for owner-breeder-trainer Bobby Frankel, who will also run Eternal Melody in the 1 1/4-mile race on turf.
Amorama has been stakes-placed three times since joining the Julio Canani stable from France last autumn, including a third-place finish in the grade III Senorita Stakes on May 15.
The 14-horse lineup appears set with three jockey assignments pending: Boulevardofdreams (Gary Grylls), Dance in the Mood (Yutaka Take), Eternal Melody (Alex Solis), Hollywood Story (Patrick Valenzuela), Lovely Rafaela (no rider), Mambo Slew (Mike Smith), Misty Heights (Victor Espinoza), Steel Princess (Tyler Baze), Ticker Tape (Kent Desormeaux), Western Hemisphere (David Flores), Western Ransom (Ryan Fogelsonger), French Lady (no rider), Sagitta Ra (Javier Santiago) and Amorama (no rider).
On Tuesday, Amorama worked four furlongs on the main track in :48 1/5, while trainer Jim Cassidy shipped Ticker Tape across town from Santa Anita to breeze four furlongs on turf in :50 4/5, and New Zealand invader Boulevardofdreams breezed seven furlongs on grass in 1:32 1/5 under trainer Wayne Hillis.
"What a nice filly," said Cassidy following the drill by Ticker Tape under exercise rider George Alvarez and before shipping her back to Santa Anita. "The Oaks is a stiff test. I hope there will be some pace to run at."
The English-bred Ticker Tape has registered two firsts, three seconds and one fourth in six starts for Cassidy since joining his stable from England last fall. The stretch-running filly finished fourth as the favorite in the Honeymoon in her last start.
"She felt good; I'm very happy with her," said Hillis following Boulevardofdreams' drill. Hillis said regular jockey Gary Grylls, who has never ridden in the United States, and owner Ted Van Beurden of Auckland are scheduled to arrive Wednesday.
In other developments:
‹Misty Heights of Ireland and Steel Princess of France are scheduled to clear quarantine and be transferred to detention barn 50 South Wednesday following a 10-hour flight from Amsterdam to Los Angeles International Airport on Monday. Assistant Tom Daly arrived with Misty Heights for trainer Dermot Weld, who won the race last year with Dimitrova. Christophe Ferland, assistant to trainer Richard Gibson, is here with Steel Princess. Adrian Beaumont of the International Racing Bureau arrived to help supervise the four overseas invitees.
‹Japanese star Dance in the Mood galloped once around the main track and was schooled in the paddock with Boulevardofdreams. The daughter of Sunday Silence will probably work on turf Wednesday, according to spokesman Nobutaka Tada. Jockey Yutaka Take will arrive Thursday, one day before trainer Kazuo Fujisawa.
‹New York-based Eternal Melody and Mambo Slew and Maryland-based Western Ransom are scheduled to arrive on a Wednesday flight.
FREE! E-Newsletters from The Blood-Horse!...
Follow the top stories of major racing events, racing previews and results with FREE e-newsletters from bloodhorse.com. As news develops, we'll deliver updates to your inbox. Follow important events moment by moment, step by step!