American Oaks, A Gleam Fields Taking Shape

A field of nine or 10 3-year-old fillies is likely to start in the American Oaks – Presented by American Airlines (gr. IT) July 14 on the turf at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The 11th renewal of the Oaks, which is for 3-year-old fillies at 1 ¼ miles and offers a $350,000 purse, is one of five stakes to be run closing weekend of the spring/summer meet.

Trainer Michael Matz confirmed July 8 that Colonial Flag, owned by Skara Glen Stable, W.S. Farish, and  ENL Stable, will ship July 11 for the Oaks and will be stabled with trainer Gary Mandella. The Pleasant Tap filly was second in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 16 at Churchill Downs. Regular rider Julien Leparoux will be aboard. 

Matz, best known as the trainer of 2006 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Barbaro and Union Rags , who won the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 9, said he will also make the trip for the American Oaks.

A pair of European imports, Three Chimneys Racing’s Miss Cato (Garrett Gomez), who has won four of seven for trainer Rae Guest, and Prince A.A. Faisal’s Nayarra (Corey Nakatani), participant in a pair of group I races in England for Mick Channon, spice up the cast.

Other probable starters are Best Present Ever (no rider), winner of the Campanille Stakes June 2 at Golden Gate Fields; Lady of Shamrock (Mike Smith), who missed by a nose in the Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) June 9; and My Gi Gi,(no rider), the winner of the Honeymoon.

Other probables are Stormy Lucy, a close third in the Honeymoon, Left a Message (no rider), fourth in the Regret, and Regalo Mia (Rafael Bejarano), runner-up in the Sands Point (gr. IIT) May 28 at Belmont Park.

Trainer Al Stall, Jr. is still on the fence concerning Spendthrift Farm’s Treasured Up, who finished a half-length behind Colonial Flag when third in the Regret.

There are eight probables for the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at seven furlongs over Cushion Track. The A Gleam is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race. The Breeders’ Cup nominated winner of the A Gleam will earn an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (gr. I) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.

Jockeys Chantal Sutherland and Rafael Bejarano, who finished 1-2 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert aboard Game On Dude and Richard's Kid , respectively, in the July 7 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), will be at it again with another pair of Baffert runners.

Sutherland will ride Thoroughbred Racing Legend Stable’s Glamorista, who has won three of five starts, including two of three over Cushion Track, while Bejarano will ride Kaleem Shah’s American Lady, winner of the Reminiscing Stakes in her most recent appearance June 1.

Joining those two in the gate will be Switch, Mildly Offensive, Sugarinthemorning, Teddy's Promise, and Izzy Rules.