Juddmonte Farms’ Emollient, winner of the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 6 at Keeneland, heads an expected field of seven for the upcoming 12th running of the American Oaks (gr. IT) at Betfair Hollywood Park.
At 1 1/4 miles on turf July 13, the $350,000 Oaks is restricted to 3-year-old fillies
Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott, Emollient would be making her grass debut in the American Oaks. The daughter of Empire Maker has earned $446,900 while winning three of seven starts. She was second in the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) as a 2-year-old last Nov. 24 at Aqueduct Racetrack. Most recently, she finished a troubled sixth as the 4-5 favorite in the Black Eyed Susan (gr. II) at Pimlico Race Course.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has the assignment. Smith won last year’s American Oaks with a rail-skimming ride aboard Lady of Shamrock.
Another Hall of Fame trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, indicated he’ll run Scarlet Strike and Macha, second and third, respectively, in the Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park June 8. Scarlet Strike will once again be ridden by Rafael Bejarano, while Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens takes over on Macha.
Sarach, who captured the Honeymoon at 8-1 for her first stakes victory, will try to repeat that success for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. Martin Garcia will likely employ the front-running tactics that proved successful in the Honeymoon.
Others under consideration for the Oaks are Becky Lou (trainer Matt Chew, no rider), fourth in the Honeymoon, Wittgenstein (Doug O’Neill, Mario Gutierrez), unplaced in the Honeymoon, and Topic (Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale, no rider), an impressive maiden winner June 13.
The Saturday card also features a pair of stakes for 2-year-olds – the Hollywood Juvenile Championship and the Landaluce for fillies. Both races offer $150,000 purses and will be run at six furlongs over Cushion Track.