A game winner of the American Oaks (gr. IT) one month ago, Lady of Shamrock can make it back-to-back grade I wins when she takes on nine sophomore filly rivals in the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) on the turf Aug. 18.
Lady of Shamrock will be cutting back a furlong in distance from the 1 1/4-mile American Oaks, which she won by 1 1/4 lengths as the 3-2 favorite despite being bumped late July 14 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The last time she raced at 1 1/8 miles, Lady of Shamrock was upset by a nose in the June 9 Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) by My Gi Gi, who also returns in the Del Mar Oaks. My Gi Gi was second in the American Oaks. The other major contender is grade I winner Eden's Moon, front-running victor of the San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) in her turf debut July 22 at Del Mar.
Trained by John Sadler, seeking his first win in the Del Mar Oaks, Hronis Racing's Lady of Shamrock is enjoying an outstanding 3-year-old campaign with three wins in five starts. Besides the American Oaks she also captured the Providencia (gr. IIIT) and China Doll stakes on the grass this season at Santa Anita Park. Mike Smith, who was aboard the daughter of Scat Daddy for all of those victories, retains the mount. They will break from post 2.
Lady of Shamrock worked six furlongs in 1:12 3/5 At Del Mar on the Polytrack Aug. 15.
My Gi Gi figures to be one of the main obstacles for Lady of Shamrock in the Del Mar Oaks, which is the eighth race on the Saturday program with a scheduled 5:30 p.m PDT post.
Owned by Dennis Conner and Wade Jacobsen, My Gi Gi has a win and two seconds in three grass stakes this season. That includes a nose loss in the Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) prior to the Honeymoon. Peter Eurton, who trains the Darley-bred daughter of E Dubai, tabs jockey Joe Talamo for a return engagement.
Kaleem Shah's Eden's Moon could also vie for favoritism following her one-length triumph in the San Clemente for trainer Bob Baffert. Racing in front while off the rail in the stretch, the Malibu Moon filly responded when threatened to her inside by Open Water to win in a drive. Rafael Bejarano retains the mount.
Eden's Moon won the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) on dirt at Santa Anita in March before finishing third in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I).
Baffert captured the Del Mar Oaks in 2009 with Internallyflawless and also won it in 1999 with Tout Charmant.
Open Water, who made a big move in the San Clemente in her turf bow at odds of 27-1, returns in this spot as well for trainer Eric Guillot and Southern Equine Stable. The daughter of Include was third behind Eden Moon in the Las Virgenes as well.
Michael House's Irish-bred Indigo River won the Sweet Life Stakes on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita at 6 1/2 furlongs in February. She has since posted a pair of thirds in the China Doll and San Clemente for trainer Jeff Mullins.
Other contenders are Best Present Ever, third last time in the American Oaks after back-to-back turf wins for trainer Eric Kruljac, and Stormy Lucy, fifth in the American Oaks for trainer Frank Lucarelli after running a close third in the Honeymoon.
Cozze Up Lady starts for Paula Capestro, shipping west from Churchill Downs following a third-place effort in the Indiana Distaff on turf at Indiana Downs.
Irish-bred Mary Fildes, group-placed in England, makes her second start in the United States for Simon Callaghan and Donkey Island Racing. She was third as the favorite to Del Mar Oaks foe Long Face after enduring a slow start in an allowance/optional claiming event at 1 1/16 miles July 26. Long Face posted her first win in four tries this year for trainer Patrick Biancone.
$300,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT, Race 8, 5:30 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Indigo River (IRE), M Garcia, J Mullins
2. Lady of Shamrock (KY), M E Smith, J W Sadler
3. Stormy Lucy (KY), M A Pedroza, F Lucarelli
4. Best Present Ever (CA), G K Gomez, J E Kruljac
5. Long Face (KY), V Espinoza, P L Biancone
6. My Gi Gi (KY), J Talamo, P Eurton
7. Open Water (KY), A Delgadillo, E J Guillot
8. Eden's Moon (FL), R Bejarano, B Baffert
9. Mary Fildes (IRE), D R Flores, S Callaghan
10. Cozze Up Lady (KY), A Quinonez, P S Capestro
All carry 122 pounds.