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Shirreffs Takes Two Shots at American Oaks

Trainer John Shirreffs will start a pair of 3-year-old fillies – Nereid and Star Billing - in search of a second consecutive win in the $250,000 American Oaks Saturday at Hollywood Park.


A Grade I at 1 ¼ miles on turf, the American Oaks is one of three stakes to be offered the next-to-last day of the Spring/Summer meet.  The others are the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap, a Grade II for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs over Cushion Track and the $100,000 Landaluce for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs.


John Shirreffs, who won the 2010 American Oaks with Harmonious, will try to become the second trainer to repeat in a race celebrating its 10th anniversary. Todd Pletcher went back-to-back with Wait a While (2006) and Panty Raid (2007).


Star Billing is the more accomplished of the Shirreffs duo.  A daughter of Dynaformer and the Thunder Gulch mare Topliner, she’s won two of three, including the Grade III Senorita Stakes May 7, for owner-breeder George Krikorian.  An earner of $122,400, Star Billing was second behind Sarah’s Secret in the Grade II Honeymoon Handicap June 11 in her sole defeat.


Owned by Eric Kronfeld, Nereid, like her stablemate, has won twice in three starts, but has not yet run in a graded race. The Rock Hard Ten filly out of the Belong to Me Mare Dowry has collected both victories over the Hollywood Park turf, winning versus maidens May 7, before taking a June 2 allowance.


A double graded stakes winner earlier in the year at Santa Anita, Cambina will be looking for her first victory in her third race over the Hollywood Park turf. Owned by a partnership and trained by Jeff Bonde, the Irish bred daughter of Hawk Wing and the Peintre Celebre Await was a head behind Star Billing when third in the Honeymoon. She’s won five of 11 while earning $270,426.


Bizzy Caroline arrives from Kentucky on a roll for owner-breeder Catesby Clay and trainer Ken McPeek. An Afleet Alex filly out of the Saint Ballado mare Sacre Coeur, Bizzy Caroline has won three in a row, including the Grade III Regret June 18 at Churchill Downs. She’s won half of her six lifetime starts and has a bankroll of $148,497.


Entrustment, a daughter of Forestry and the Private Account mare Entrusted, has won two of six and earned $70,320. Owned by Edward and Theresa DeNike and trained by Paddy Gallagher, Entrustment was fourth – defeated by one length – in the Honeymoon.

Love Theway Youare will be making her first appearance on grass for owner-trainer Myung Kwon Cho. The Arch filly out of the Tabasco Cat mare has won two of nine and earned $112,720.


From inside out, the field for the American Oaks:  Entrustment, Alonso Quinonez rides, 121 pounds;  Love Theway Youare, Victor Espinoza, 121; Nereid, Joe Talamo, 121; Cambina, Martin Garcia, 121; Star Billing, Joel Rosario, 121 and Bizzy Caroline, Rafael Bejarano, 121.

 

 

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