Three Degrees Prepares for American Oaks

Three Degrees Prepares for American Oaks
Photo: Benoit
Honeymoon 'Cap winner Three Degrees
(from Hollywood Park notes)
Three Degrees, winner of the Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park on June 5, prepared for the $750,000 American Oaks (gr. I) with a six-furlong turf work Sunday.

Bracing for the invasion of top 3-year-old fillies from England, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New York, Three Degrees drilled the six panels under exercise rider Theresa Black in 1:13 2/5 in company with stablemate Danclare.

"She seemed to work well, the way she always does," said trainer Paddy Gallagher. "She followed the other filly and joined her in the stretch."

Three Degrees broke off four or five lengths behind Danclare and passed her near the end of the work.

Gallagher realizes the filly will have her work cut out for her against international competition in the Oaks at 1 1/4 miles on turf, but likes the role of the hometown horse with a recent win over this course.

"She looks like she should handle the extra distance, the way she finished her last race and with her pedigree," said Gallagher. "But it will be a tough race. Frankel's filly (the unbeaten Melhor Ainda from New York) looks good. And the Japanese filly (Cesario) looks as good as the one that ran last year (second-place finisher Dance in the Mood). And I expect Sweet Firebird (trained in Ireland by Dermot Weld) to run well. I assisted Bill Shoemaker when he trained her dam, Fire The Groom."

Fire The Groom won of the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) for Shoemaker and Gallagher.

A field of at least 12 appears set: Cesario (Yuichi Fukenaga), Hallowed Dream (Patrick Valenzuela), Isla Cozzene (Corey Nakatani), Louvain (Victor Espinoza), Luas Line (Kieren Fallon), Melhor Ainda (John Velazquez), Memorette (Kent Desormeaux), Silk and Scarlet (TBA), Silver Cup (Gary Stevens), Sweet Firebird (Alex Solis), Thatswhatimean (David Flores), and Three Degrees (Jerry Bailey).

All starters will carry 121 pounds.

The youthful trio of Aron Wellman, Michael Rosenmayer, and Braden Huenefeld (who own 25% of the filly) and bloodstock agent Richard Duggan – who found Three Degrees last year in England – watched the work.

"We're trying to keep her happy and holding our breath for another week," said Wellman.

Thatswhatimean, runner-up in the Honeymoon, worked one mile on the main track in 1:43 1/5 Saturday for trainer Warren Stute and owner B. Wayne Hughes.

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