Bill Mott

Bill Mott


Mott Hopeful Grass Option Will Suit Emollient

Trainer cites filly's success on synthetics, good turf works as American Oaks nears.

Her past two starts on dirt were poor, so Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott is hoping his grade I winner Emollient will find the firm turf at Betfair Hollywood Park to her liking in the $350,000 American Oaks (gr. IT) July 13.

Owned by breeder Juddmonte Farms, Emollient will be making her grass debut in the 1 1/4-mile event for 3-year-old fillies following a roller coaster form pattern this year.

The daughter of Empire Maker  started 2013 well enough with an allowance victory on a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park Feb. 16. She was sent off at 5-2 six weeks later in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (gr. II) but finished fifth, 30 lengths behind runaway winner Dreaming of Julia.

"There was no explanation for the way she ran that day," said Mott, whose grade I victories at Hollywood Park include the 1995 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) with Cigar.

Emollient redeemed herself just seven days later on Polytrack in the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. Taking command immediately, Emollient widened on her opposition, ultimately winning by nine lengths.

"She really shined on the synthetic," said Mott.  "After that race, I was a little skeptical about running her back on dirt, but with all the big races coming up, we had to find out where we stood."

Mott's skepticism was well founded. Sent to Pimlico Race Course for the Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) May 17, odds-on pick Emollient faded after a half mile and finished 21 lengths behind Fiftyshadesofhay.

"She stumbled in the race, but recovered," stated Mott. "I can't use that as an excuse."

Emollient is a grade I winner and tops the field with $446,900 in earnings, but Mott said he's still in the fact finding stage with the 3-year-old filly.

"She ran so well on the synthetic, we're hoping there's a correlation between synthetic and turf," said Mott. "Her two turf works at Belmont Park (June 23 and 30) were very good."

Emollient drew post 3 in the field of eight and once again will be ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who won the 2012 American Oaks with Lady of Shamrock.