Carribean Sunset, a multiple group III winner in Ireland, leads a four-horse European contingent in a field of 12 3-year-old fillies contesting the $750,000 American Oaks Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park July 5.
Most recently third in the June 20 Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot, Carribean Sunset will likely be challenged by grade II winner Pure Clan, who ran third in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), and grade II winner Raw Silk. The Irish-bred filly is trained by Dermot Weld, and the American Oaks, which is contested at 1 1/4 miles, will be her first attempt beyond a mile.
Pure Clan enters the American Oaks off a 2 3/4-length victory in the June 14 Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT), which was her first start of the year on turf. As a juvenile, the Pure Prize filly made her first two starts on the grass and was victorious in both of them before switching to a successful dirt campaign. Trainer Bob Holthus will saddle the chestnut filly for Lewis Lakin, IEAH Stable, and Pegasus Holding Group Stables.
Another American runner looking for her first grade I victory is Raw Silk, who won the May 31 Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont in her first attempt at graded stakes company. The Darley Stable runner, who is trained by Tom Albertrani, won the 1 1/8-mile event by 4 1/4 lengths.
Irish-bred Missit, Kentucky-bred Magical Fantasy, and California-bred Bel Air Sizzle will be representing locally-based outfits. They all made their last start June 7 in the Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood, which is the last major local stepping-stone to the American Oaks. Stakes winner Bel Air Sizzle ran the best of the trio, finishing second by three-quarters of a length to Misty Ocean. Missit, who is a grade II winner, finished fourth, while Magical Fantasy checked-in fifth.
Other stakes winners in the American Oaks include Clearly Foxy, who won last year’s Natalma Stakes (Can-IIIT), and Satan’s Circus. Although Satan’s Circus was bred in Kentucky, the Gone West filly is a stakes winner in France and will be making her first North American start.
Backseat Rhythm, My Baby Baby, Annie Skates, and British-bred Zaskar are all seeking their first stakes score in the American Oaks. Paul Pompa Jr.’s Backseat Rhythm hit the board in both the Frizette Stakes (gr. I) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) as a 2-year-old, while My Baby Baby is stakes-placed and comes into the race off a 5 3/4-length victory over the turf in allowance company at Churchill Downs June 4.
All runners will carry 121 pounds.
Post, Horse, Jockey
1. Pure Clan, Julien Leparoux
2. Magical Fantasy, Alex Solis
3. Satan’s Circus, Ioritz Mendizabal
4. Raw Silk, Alan Garcia
5. Clearly Foxy, Garrett Gomez
6. Bel Air Sizzle, Rafael Bejarano
7. Annie Skates, John Egan
8. Missit, Victor Espinoza
9. Carribean Sunset, Patrick Smullen
10. Backseat Rhythm, Javier Castellano
11. Zaskar, David Flores
12. My Baby Baby, Brice Blanc