Anamato, expected to be the first Australian horse to start in the American Oaks (gr. IT) when the $750,000 international race is run July 7, exercised on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track for the first time Wednesday morning.
Winner of the Australasian Oaks (Aus-I) in her last start on April 21, Anamato cleared quarantine late Tuesday afternoon after arriving from Australia early Monday morning.
“That was her first time on a flight, and she chilled out the whole way,” said traveling ’strapper’ Susan Kerr. “She has been very laid back here. Nothing much upsets her.” Kerr said the long flight took four hours from Melbourne to New Zealand, and another 11 ½ hours from New Zealand to Los Angeles.
“It was a bit of a leg-stretch, just looking around to see what’s what,” said Kerr of the filly’s light exercise regimen, once around the track jogging, and once around galloping.
The English-born Kerr has worked for famed trainer David Hayes for four years. “He has been thinking about this race for six months,” said Kerr of the trainer’s first starter in the United States. “He had a horse in mind for this race last year but she broke down.”
Kerr said that assistant trainer John Connell is scheduled to arrive this weekend and supervise a probable work on turf Sunday. Hayes is scheduled to follow the week of the race.
Owner-breeders Royce and Julie Ritchie, who own the filly in a partnership, are expected to bring a large entourage for the race. Anamato has won four of 17 starts and earned $638,096.
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