Lady of Shamrock Skims Rail in American Oaks
Jockey Mike Smith gambled at the rail with favored Lady of Shamrock and it paid off with a convincing victory in the $350,000 American Oaks (gr. IT) on the turf July 14 at Betfair Hollywood Park (VIDEO).
"It got pretty tight," the Hall of Fame rider Smith told TVG afterward. "Those grade Is will make people do kind of crazy things. Once I got her in there, she's so explosive. She really took off."
“I thought at a mile and one-quarter she’d eventually get a lane or a seam. I’m glad (Mike Smith) didn’t alter the strategy even though it was a paceless race," Sadler said. "We still like to let her settle and she’s doing really well that way.
Lady of Shamrock scored her third stakes win of the year, following victories in the China Doll Stakes and Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) this spring at Santa Anita Park with Smith aboard. In the 1 1/8-mile Honeymoon, her first start on the Hollywood turf, Lady of Shamrock shifted out for jockey Alonso Quinonez in the stretch run and closed for fifth to just miss to My Gi Gi.
Lady of Shamrock continued to gain along the fence before she got command near the sixteenth pole. She opened up quickly on her tiring rival as My Gi Gi, rallying for Joe Talamo, flew home late.
Smith said the race opened up for Lady of Shamrock on the final turn.
"(Nayarra) didn’t corner too well and that really helped us out because I was able to get up in there and on through," he said. "I know what she is capable of, but she was a little on her toes warming up, and I was a little bit concerned she might be a little bit aggressive, but honestly she turned off really well once the gates opened and after that got into a great rhythm."
Miss Cato finished fourth, followed by Stormy Lucy, Left a Message, Nayarra, and Colonial Flag.
“She ran great," Talamo said of My Gi Gi. "I was surprised (Lady Of Shamrock) got through on the rail, that was a real tight spot. My filly gave it a roll and I was very proud of her.”
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