Just nudged in the Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) when caught late by Belle Royale, Quiet Oasis returns to Betfair Hollywood Park at a shorter distance in the $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile Stakes (gr. IIT) on the turf July 7.
Racing in the familiar J. Paul Reddam silks, the 4-year-old Irish-bred filly already has a win at the meet at the mile distance, taking the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) April 29 by a half-length. Ben Cecil trains the daughter of Oasis Dream, who will be ridden once again by Mario Gutierrez.
Quiet Oasis set a measured pace in the nine-furlong Gamely May 28, dueling with Wild Mia on the lead and then fending off Capital Plan in the lane before she was overcome in deep stretch by Belle Royale. She lost by a half-length at odds of 6-1. The bay filly has two wins and two seconds from her past five starts after transferring to the United States from the United Kingdom late in 2010.
Quiet Oasis, once again the likely pacesetter, will break from post 5 in the Royal Heroine.
The Royal Heroine, which drew a well-balanced field of eight older fillies and mares, immediately precedes the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on the Saturday program. It goes as the eighth race at 4:40 p.m. PDT.
Belle Royale, trained by Simon Callaghan, is skipping the Royal Heroine and is expected to run in the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) Aug. 18 at Arlington Park.
Callaghan will be represented by Up In Time, a Great Britain-bred filly returning to Southern California after a fourth-place effort in the one-mile Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) June 9 at Belmont Park. Seventh in the Wilshire, the daughter of Noverre has dropped five straight since taking the Harold C. Ramser Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Park in October. She also won the San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar last year.
Rafael Bejarano, who rode Up in Time in the one-mile San Clemente, takes over the mount from the departed Joel Rosario.
All Star Heart, riding a three-race win streak since last October for trainer Ron McAnally, figures to garner plenty of support in the Royal Heroine. Gerald Gibbs' 5-year-old homebred mare by Arch won her only start in 2012, the June 10 Redondo Beach at one mile, and is perfect in two tries on the Hollywood turf. Winner of the Las Palmas Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita in November, All Star Heart will have regular pilot Brice Blanc aboard.
City to City, trained and co-owned by Jerry Hollendorfer along with William DeBurgh and Mark Dedomenico, looks to improve on her fourth-place effort in the Gamely. The 5-year-old City Zip mare won the Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita in February and has lost three straight since. Hollendorfer won the 2009 Royal Heroine with Tuscan Evening.
An interesting possibility is Mega Dream, who has won both of her starts since being purchased for $40,000 at auction last fall, including Hollywood's six-furlong Great Lady M Stakes on the grass May 27. Owned by Barry Arnason, Jerry Durant, and Mersad Metanovic and trained by Jeff Bonde, the 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro is slated to be sold at the July 22 Del Mar paddock sale. Her sale reportedly could be delayed with a top effort Saturday. Mega Dream has four wins from 11 lifetime starts.
Nereid, winner in a dead-heat of last year's American Oaks (gr. IT), has lost four in a row since for trainer John Shirreffs. The 4-year-old Rock Hard Ten miss was most recently sixth in the Gamely as the favorite after weakening in the stretch. Nereid, breaking from the far outside, carries high weight of 123 pounds.
Also in the field are likely pace possibilities Briecat, third in the Redondo Beach after leading in the stretch, and Ninth Infantry, an allowance optional claiming heat winner over the course at six furlongs May 24.
$150,000 Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 8, 4:40 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Ninth Infantry (KY), C Sutherland, 115, D Bernstein
2. Up In Time (GB), R Bejarano, 121, S Callaghan
3. City to City (KY), M A Pedroza, 121, J Hollendorfer
4. All Star Heart (ON), B Blanc, 121, R L McAnally
5. Quiet Oasis (IRE), M Gutierrez, 119, B D Cecil
6. Briecat (FL), V Espinoza, 115, V Cerin
7. Mega Dream (KY), G K Gomez, 115, J Bonde
8. Nereid (KY), J Talamo, 123, J A Shirreffs