Irish Trio Clears Quarantine for American Oaks

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Irish invaders Luas Line, Silk and Scarlet and Sweet Firebird cleared quarantine at Hollywood Park Wednesday after being flown to Southern California on Monday for Sunday's $750,000 American Oaks (gr. IT).

The trio will exercise on the track Thursday for the 3-year-old filly test at 1 1/4 miles on turf.

Luas Line, third-place finisher in the Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I), will be saddled by David Wachman, who named Rene Douglas to ride the filly in place of regular rider Kieren Fallon, who has other commitments.

Silk and Scarlet, winner of the Debutante Stakes (Ire-II) at The Curragh last year for trainer Aidan O'Brien, was accompanied by assistant T.J. Comerford – who will saddle the filly – and exercise rider Gemma O'Mahoney.

Sweet Firebird, a half-sister to Stravinsky who broke her maiden at the Oaks distance of 10 furlongs at Clonmel on May 26 for trainer Dermot Weld, was accompanied by assistant and exercise rider Joey Mulholland. Mulholland also accompanied Dimitrova, winner of the 2003 American Oaks.

Italian invitee Silver Cup, winner of the Italian One Thousand Guineas, arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday and should clear quarantine Thursday. Stefano Botti, son of Italian trainer Alduino Botti, will saddle Silver Cup, who will be transferred to trainer Patrick Biancone after the Oaks.

English invitee Hallowed Dream was flown to Los Angeles on Wednesday and should clear quarantine Friday for trainer Clive Brittain. Runner-up in the Italian Oaks I (Ity-I) in her last start, the Gary Tanaka-owned maiden will go to the barn of Ben Cecil, who will saddle her.

Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIIT) winner Melhor Ainda, unbeaten in four starts, was flown in Wednesday from New York for trainer Bobby Frankel, according to assistant Humberto Ascanio. Louvain, a second invitee from the Frankel barn, worked five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 under Isaias Enriquez Monday but is also under consideration for the $100,000-added Flawlessly Stakes on Monday.

Japanese Oaks winner Cesario, who has been here for a week, worked five furlongs on the main track in 1:01 3/5 on Monday under exercise rider Norihiro Kishimoto. Jockey Yuichi Fukunaga, 28, arrived here Tuesday and will be aboard when she exercises Thursday.

Memorette, runner-up in the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks, worked five furlongs on turf in :59 4/5 in company with Commandant on Tuesday in preparation for her first race on grass. "I had her out six furlongs in 1:12 2/5," said trainer Bill Currin, happy with the drill. "Carlos Aguilar, her exercise rider, said she has the best grass action of any horse he's ever been on."

Racing secretary Martin Panza issued an invitation to Singhalese, fourth-place finisher in the Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap in her last start. Trainer Jim Cassidy hopes to catch lightning in a bottle. He won the American Oaks last year with Ticker Tape after she finished fourth in the Honeymoon. "If Singhalese gets the seven hole, like Ticker Tape did last year, I'll get real excited," said Cassidy.

A field of 13 is probable: Cesario (Fukunaga), Hallowed Dream (Patrick Valenzuela), Isla Cozzene (Corey Nakatani), Louvain (Victor Espinoza), Luas Line (Douglas), Melhor Ainda (John Velazquez), Memorette (Kent Desormeaux), Silk and Scarlet (no rider), Silver Cup (Gary Stevens), Sweet Firebird (Alex Solis), Thatswhatimean (David Flores), Three Degrees (Jerry Bailey), and Singhalese (no rider). All starters will carry 121 pounds.