My Gi Gi, Lady of Shamrock and Stormy Lucy, the 1-2-3 finishers in the June 9 Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) at Betfair Hollywood Park, will square off again July 14 in the $350,000 American Oaks Presented by American Airlines (gr. IT).
The 11th renewal of the 1 1/4 mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies is scheduled with an approximate post of 4:40 p.m. PST as the eighth event on a 10-race card, one of four stakes to be offered on the next-to-last day of the Spring-Summer meet. The $200,000 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II), the $150,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III), and the $150,000 Landaluce complete the stakes lineup.
Owned by a partnership and trained by Peter Eurton, My Gi Gi got the better of favored Lady of Shamrock by a nose in the Honeymoon. The win was the first in graded stakes company for the E Dubai filly, who was purchased privately by her current connections prior to a nose loss to Bobina in the May 5 Senorita Stakes (gr. III). She has two wins in seven starts and earnings of $157,540.
Lady Shamrock had a two-race win streak for Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler snapped by that loss last month. A winner of three turf stakes during Santa Anita's Winter-Spring season, the daughter of Scat Daddy has won four of eight starts and banked $255,400.
Before losing by a half-length in the Honeymoon, Stormy Lucy had won three in a row at Golden Gate Fields for owner Frank Gaunt and trainer Frank Lucarelli. The Stormy Atlantic filly, who broke her maiden in $30,000 company over Cushion Track last Dec. 11, has won four of nine starts with earnings of $109,045.
The Oaks cast also includes the second and fourth place finishers in the June 16 Regret (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs-Colonial Flag and Left a Message. If either are successful July 14, they wouldn't be the first to win the Oaks off a previous start in Kentucky. Pure Clanshipped in for the late Bob Holthus and prevailed in 2008. The daughter of Pure Prize was the first horse Holthus-who was 74 at the time-had ever raced in California.
Owned by Glen Skara Stable, William S. Farish and ENL Stables LLC, Colonial Flag is conditioned by Michael Matz. Defeated by one length by Centre Court in her graded debut in the Regret, the daughter of Pleasant Taphas won two of four and banked $98,075.
Left a Message has two wins in four races and earnings of $68,788. The Mr. Greeley filly is owned by Glen Hill Farm and trained by Tom Proctor.
Like 2003 winner Dimitrova, Miss Cato and Nyarra will run in the Oaks after making their most recent starts in Europe.
Trained by Rae Guest for Three Chimneys Racing LLC, Miss Cato has won four of seven. The English-bred daughter of Notnowcato has not been worse than third in all of her starts.
Owned by Prince A.A. Faisal and trained by Mick Channon, Nayarra has one win 13 starts and a bankroll of $222,548. The Cape Cross filly was last seen trailing in the Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) June 1.
Beaten a nose by Better Lucky in the May 28 Sands Point (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park, Regalo Miawill be competing at her sixth different track- in what will only be her seventh lifetime start. Trained by Michelle Nihei for owner Steven Ciccarone, the daughter of Sligo Bay has won once and earned $137,200. Never worse than third, she ran at Saratoga Race Course, Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs and Keeneland prior to her narrow defeat in the Empire State.
There have been two American Oaks winners, Wait a While in 2006 and Gozzip Girl in 2009, who scored after making their previous start at Belmont Park.
The hottest member of the Oaks field is Best Present Ever. A California-bred filly by Unusual Heat, she has won three in a row on turf for owner-breeders Dennis and Norine Grenier and trainer Eric Kruljac. This will be the first appearance in a graded race for Best Present Ever, who won the restricted Campanile at Golden Gate June 2.
$350,000 American Oaks Stakes (gr. IT, Race 8, approximate post time 4:40 p.m. PST), 3YO fillies, 1 1/4 miles (turf)
PP., Horse, Jockey, Trainer (all runners carry 121 pounds)
1. Stormy Lucy (KY), E. Flores, F Lucarelli
2. Lady of Shamrock (KY), M.E. Smith, J W Sadler
3. Best Present Ever (CA), V. Espinoza, J E Kruljac
4. My Gi Gi (KY), J. Talamo, P Eurton
5. Regalo Mia (FL), R. Bejarano, M Nihei
6. Left a Message (KY), Y. Fukanaga, T F Proctor
7. Miss Cato (GB), G.K. Gomez, R Guest
8. Navarra (IRE), C.S. Nakatani, M R Channon
9. Colonial Flag (KY), R. Maragh, M R Matz