First Euro Shipper Arrives for Del Mar Oaks

Gerard Lyons' group III Irish winner Berg Bahn makes first visit to seaside track.

The first of two European shippers for the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) Aug. 21 has arrived at the seaside track after clearing quarantine at Hollywood Park.

Berg Bahn settled in at trainer Patrick Gallagher's barn on the afternoon of Aug. 13 to make final preparations for the 1 1/8-mile turf event for 3-year-old fillies.

Trained by Gerard Lyons and in the hands of traveling lad Shane Lyons, the trainer's brother, Berg Bahn, went to the track for the first time Aug. 14 for some early-morning exercise.

The Irish-bred daughter of Big Bad Bob won the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Brownstown Stakes (Ire-III) over seven furlongs at Fairyhouse in her most recent outing June 30.

The other European expected for the race, Distinctive, is due to arrive next week, Gallagher said Aug. 14. Distinctive, trained by Bryan Smart, won the six-furlong Firth of Clyde Stakes (Eng-III)  as a 2-year-old at Scotland's Ayr Racecourse. She was fourth in the Brownstown Stakes last time out.

Another shipper expected for the race, but not from such a distance, is the Canada-based Perfect Shirl, trained by Roger Attfield for owner Charles E. Fipke. Chantal Sutherland is to ride. Perfect Shirl is on a three-race win streak, including the Lake George Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga on July 28.

From home base at Del Mar will come the Jim Cassidy-trained multiple graded stakes winner Evening Jewel, who captured the San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) last month with Victor Espinoza; grade I winner Crisp, trained by John Sadler with Rafael Bejarano in the irons; and Harmonious, winner of the American Oaks (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park for trainer John Shirreffs. She will be ridden by Mike Smith.

Entry time for the Del Mar Oaks is Aug. 18. Ten fillies will go to the gate, with first preference going to winners of group or grade I races and second preference for fillies that have finished second or third in such races.