G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s Communique, a closing fourth in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Churchill Downs turf June 16, has accepted an invitation from Hollywood Park racing secretary Martin Panza to compete in the $750,000 American Oaks (gr. IT) on July 7, trainer Rusty Arnold said Friday from Kentucky.
"She's a mile-and-a-quarter horse, and you don't get many opportunities to run at a mile and a quarter for $750,000," explained Arnold of his decision to ship. "And Mr. Humphrey is a sportsman."
The Kentucky-bred daughter of Smart Strike is scheduled to be flown to Southern California Tuesday. The jockey assignment is pending. Runner-up in the Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park in March, Communique has won one of six starts.
A field of nine or 10 is shaping up for the 1 1/4-mile turf test for 3-year-old fillies. Probable are Anamato (Michael Rodd) from Australia, Robe Decollete (Yosunari Iwata) from Japan, Just Little (Victor Espinoza) from France, Supposition (Rafael Bejarano) from Ireland, the Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Audacious Chloe (David Flores) and Panty Raid (Edgar Prado) from New York, Baroness Thatcher (Corey Nakatani) and Communique from Kentucky, and locally-based Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) winner Valbenny (Alex Solis).
Mystic Soul, third-place finisher in the Honeymoon, is considered possible. Trainer Jeff Mullins is debating between that race and the $100,000-added Flawlessly Stakes at one mile on turf next Friday night.
Supposition is scheduled to be flown in Sunday by Irish trainer Dermot Weld, who won the race with Dimitrova in 2003. The English-bred daughter of Dansili is a Juddmonte Farms homebred. She won one of four starts and finished third in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) last year at seven furlongs in Ireland.
Australasian Oaks (Aus-i) winner Anamato, who arrived last week, is scheduled to work on Cushion Track Saturday. Japanese Oaks (Jpn-II) winner Robe Decollete, who cleared quarantine Wednesday, exercised on Cushion Track for a second day.
Just Little, owned by Ed Gann of San Diego, won the Prix Vanteaux (fr-III) at Longchamp in April for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. The French-bred daughter of Grand Slam is scheduled to be flown in Tuesday.
Audacious Chloe, Panty Raid and Baroness Thatcher are expected to join Communique on the Tuesday flight.
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