Juddmonte Farms’ Emollient
, winner of the Grade I Ashland April 6 at Keeneland, heads an expected field of seven for Saturday’s 12th running of the American Oaks.
A Grade I at 1 ¼ miles on turf, the $350,000 Oaks is restricted to 3-year-old fillies.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Emollient has earned $446,000. The daughter of Empire Maker has earned $446,900 while winning three of seven. She was second in the Grade II Demoiselle Stakes last Nov. 24 at Aqueduct. Most recently, she finished a troubled sixth as the 4-5 favorite in the Grade II Black Eyed Susan at Pimlico.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has the assignment. Smith won last year’s American Oaks with a rail-skimming ride aboard Lady of Shamrock.
Another Hall of Fame trainer - Jerry Hollendorfer - indicated he’ll run Scarlet Strike
, second and third, respectively, in the Grade II Honeymoon Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park June 8. Scarlet Strike will once again be ridden by Rafael Bejarano, while Hall of Famer Gary Stevens takes over on Macha.Sarach
, who captured the Honeymoon at 8-1 for her first stakes victory, will try to repeat for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. Martin Garcia will likely employ the front-running tactics that proved successful in the Honeymoon.
Others under consideration for the Oaks are Becky Lou
(trainer Matt Chew, no rider), fourth in the Honeymoon, Wittgenstein
(Doug O’Neill, Mario Gutierrez), unplaced in the Honeymoon and Topic
(Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale, no rider), an impressive maiden winner June 13.
The Saturday card also features a pair of stakes for 2-year-olds – the Grade III Hollywood Juvenile Championship
and the Landaluce
for fillies. Both races offer $150,000 purses and will be run at six furlongs over Cushion Track.
Leading contenders for the Landaluce include Pleasant Miss
(Jerry Hollendorfer, Rafael Bejarano), second to Sprouts in the $100,000 Cinderella Stakes June 15, impressive Pleasanton maiden winner She’s a Tiger
(Jeff Bonde, Frank Alvarado), and On the Backstreets
(Peter Miller, Joe Talamo), who suffered a displaced palate when finishing fourth as the favorite in the Cinderella.Willie B Awesome
, second to whirlwind winner Kobe’s Back in the $100,000 Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes June 15 will be well supported in the Hollywood Juvenile. Martin Pedroza will be astride the Awesome Gambler colt for trainer Walther Solis.
Also expected to be entered are Alpine Luck
(Mike Harrington, Gary Stevens) and Ontology
(Simon Callaghan, no rider), 1-2 finishers in a June 22 maiden race.