My Gi Gi, Lady of Shamrock and Stormy Lucy, the 1-2-3 finishers in
the Grade II Honeymoon Handicap June 9, will square off again in the
Grade I, $350,000 American Oaks – Presented by American Airlines –
Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Photo: Hollywood Park
Owned by a partnership and trained by Peter Eurton, My Gi Gi got the
better of favored Lady of Shamrock by a nose in the Honeymoon. The win
was the first in a graded stakes for the E Dubai filly out of the
Sadler’s Wells mare Relish the Thought.
Purchased privately by her current connections prior to a nose loss to Bobina in the Grade III Senorita Stakes May 5, My Gi Gi has two wins in seven starts and earnings of $157,540.
Trained by John Sadler for Hronis Racing LLC,
Lady of Shamrock had a two race win streak snapped last month. A winner
of three turf stakes during Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring season, the
daughter of Scat Daddy and the Blushing John mare Blushing Issue has won
four of eight and banked $255,400.
Before losing by a half-length in the Honeymoon, Stormy Lucy had won
three in a row at Golden Gate Fields for owner Frank Gaunt and trainer
The Stormy Atlantic filly out of the Dixieland Band mare Here Comes
Lucinda, who broke her maiden against $30,000 maidens over Cushion Track
last Dec. 11, has won four of nine and earned $109,045.
The Oaks cast also includes the second and fourth place finishers in the Grade III Regret June 16 at Churchill Downs.
If Colonial Flag or Left a Message are successful Saturday, they
wouldn’t be the first filly to win the Oaks after making their previous
start in Kentucky. Pure Clan shipped here for the late Bob Holthus and
prevailed in 2008. The daughter of Pure Prize was the first horse
Holthus – 74 at the time – had ever raced in California.
Owned by Glen Skara Stable, William S. Farish and ENL Stables LLC,
Colonial Flag is conditioned by Michael Matz, best known for training
2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and Union Rags, who won the Belmont
Stakes June 9 before being sidelined with a season-ending injury.
Defeated by one length by Centre Court in her graded debut in the
Regret, Colonial Flag has won two of four and banked $98,075. The
daughter of Pleasant Tap and the Smart Strike mare Silk n’Sapphire has
won two of four.
Left a Message has two wins in four races and earnings of $68,788.
The Mr. Greeley filly out of the Deputy Minister mare Chief Secretary is
owned by Glen Hill Farm and trained by Tom Proctor.
Like 2003 winner Dimitrova, Miss Cato and Nayarra will start in the Oaks after making their most recent start in Europe.
Trained by Rae Guest for Three Chimneys Racing LLC,
Miss Cato has won four of seven. The English bred, who has not been
worse than third and earned $25,447, is a daughter of Notnowcato and the
Desert King mare Regal Fairy.
Owned by Prince A.A. Faisal and trained by Mick Channon, Nayarra has
one win 13 starts and a bankroll of $222,548. She was last seen
trailing in the Group I Epsom Oaks June 1 in England.
Beaten a nose by Better Lucky in the Grade II Sands Point May 28 at
Belmont Park, Regalo Mia will be competing at her sixth different track –
in what will only be her seventh lifetime start – Saturday.
Trained by Michelle Nihei for owner Steven Ciccarone, the Sligo Bay
filly out of the Red Bullet mare has won once and earned $137,200. Never
worse than third, Regalo Mia raced at Saratoga, Gulfstream Park, Tampa
Bay Downs and Keeneland prior to her narrow defeat at Belmont.
There have been two American Oaks winners – Wait a While (2006) and
Gozzip Girl (2009) – who scored after making their previous start at
The hottest member of the Oaks field is Best Present Ever. A
California bred filly by Unusual Heat out of the Beau Genius mare
Centerofattention, she has won three in a row on turf for owner-breeders
Dennis and Norine Grenier and trainer Eric Kruljac. This will be the
first appearance in a graded race for Best Present Ever, who won the
restricted Campanile June 2 at Golden Gate.
From inside out, the field for the 11th American Oaks: Stormy Lucy,
Eswan Flores rides, 121 pounds; Lady of Shamrock, Mike Smith, 121; Best
Present Ever, Victor Espinoza, 121; My Gi Gi, Joe Talamo, 121; Regalo
Mia, Rafael Bejarano, 121; Left a Message, Yuichi Fukunaga, 121; Miss
Cato, Garrett Gomez, 121; Nayarra, Corey Nakatani, 121 and Colonial
Flag, Rajiv Maragh, 121.