Ask for the Moon Among 4 Declining American Oaks

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Ask for the Moon, Lucifer's Stone, Sister Star and Super Bobbina have declined invitations to the $750,000 American Oaks (gr. IT) July 3, Hollywood Park Racing secretary Martin Panza said Wednesday.

The alternates are the Bobby Frankel-trained duo of Eternal Melody and Miss Vegas and French-based Kalatuna and Steel Princess, Panza said.

New Zealand import Boulevardofdreams, the first foreign invitee to arrive for the Oaks, received her first look at the Hollywood Park track Wednesday.

"She trotted around once and cantered around once," said trainer Wayne Hillis, who was aboard the 4-year-old filly. The filly was flown to California from New Zealand Sunday and spent two days in quarantine.

"There was no problem at all with the trip," said Hillis. "She was eating up and will have a couple of run-ups before the race."

Hillis, 42, was a two-time champion steeplechase rider in New Zealand before he switched to training three years ago. His father and brother were also steeplechase riders.

Hillis said that Boulevardofdreams would be his first United States starter although he did visit California on a stop back from England 15 years ago. Regular jockey Gary Grylls is scheduled to arrive next Wednesday to ride the filly for owner Ted Van Beurden.

The American Oaks, to be run at 1 1/4 miles on turf, has been elevated to Grade I status for the first time in its third running.

In other American Oaks developments, Japanese star Dance in the Mood cleared quarantine Wednesday afternoon after a 12-hour flight from Japan on Monday and will be on the track Thursday morning. A four-man entourage headed by Naruhito Kasai, assistant to trainer Kazuo Fujisawa, accompanied her.

French-based Kalatuna and Steel Princess and Irish-based Misty Heights are scheduled to be flown here from Amsterdam Monday, according to Panza. Dermot Weld, who won the race last year with Dimitrova, trains Misty Heights.

New York-based Mambo Slew and Eternal Melody and Maryland-based Western Ransom are also expected to arrive by plane here early next week.

Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) winner Hollywood Story, who has never raced on turf, will work on the grass either Thursday or Sunday, said trainer John Shirreffs.

French Lady, who accompanied Boulevardofdreams from New Zealand, went to the Neil Drysdale barn after clearing quarantine. Drysdale is hoping for an alternate invitation for the 4-year-old filly, who finished in front of Boulevardofdreams in the Australian Jockey Club Oaks and Eternal Melody in the New Zealand Oaks.