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Lady of Shamrock Wins Del Mar Oaks

Even-money favored Lady of Shamrock, strengthening her claim as America’s best three-year-old filly competing on grass, rallied from last-place under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith to score a narrow but convincing victory in the featured Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Oaks Saturday.

Allowed to trail her eight rivals until the far turn, the John Sadler-trained filly surged into contention on the far outside entering the stretch and outfinished the surprising 43-1 longshot Stormy Lucy in winning by a half-length.

Open Water, another outsider at 25-1, was third, 2 ½ lengths behind Stormy Lucy, with My Gi Gi fourth. Eden’s Moon, the San Clemente Handicap winner who was second choice at 2-1 under Rafael Bejarano, faded to fifth after pressing the pace. Cozze Up Lady was scratched from the original field.

Lady of Shamrock, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Scat Daddy, ran the nine furlongs over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course in a fast 1:46.30, narrowly missing the stakes standard of 1:46.26 set by Amorama in 2004.

Lady of Shamrock, owned by the Hronis Racing, LLC of Kosta and Pete Hronis of Delano, California, returned $4, $3 and $2.40 after scoring her sixth win in ten starts. First money of $180,000 boosted her lifetime earnings to $645,000. In her previous race, she won the Grade I American Oaks at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Stormy Lucy, who was ridden by Martin Pedroza, paid $22.20 and $8.80, while Open Water returned $8 to show.

Bejarano was a two-time winner Saturday, aboard Gab Power in the fifth and Dynamic Diva in the ninth, to boost his number of victories this summer to 38, ten more than nearest rival Garrett Gomez who won a single race, on Affrettando in the third.

Trainer Doug O’Neill, who begins a 40-day suspension Sunday, went out in a blaze of glory Saturday by saddling three upset winners – Floating Feather at $43.80 in the second, Candy and Thunder at $12 in the fourth and Cook Inlet at $35.80 in the tenth and final.

O’Neill, a four-time Del Mar training champion, departs the summer meeting with 18 victories, three more than his nearest foe, Peter Miller.

O’Neill’s final winner on Saturday’s program keyed a Pick Six carryover of $442,770 into Sunday’s card. With a carryover of $92,682 from Friday and $655,324 in “new” money Saturday, the total pool was $748,006. Expectations are that Sunday’s Pick Six pool could reach more than $2 million.

Post time for the first race Sunday will be 2 p.m., with the Pick Six beginning on the fourth race.



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