INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 5, 2013)—Emollient, a nine-length winner of the Grade I Ashland earlier in the year, heads the list of nominees to the $350,000 American Oaks.
A Grade I for 3-year-old fillies at 1 ¼ miles on turf, the American Oaks is the richest of four graded stakes to be run the final two days (July 13-14) of the Spring/Summer meet at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Besides the American Oaks, the Saturday, July 13 program will also feature the Grade II, $200,000 A Gleam Handicap, the Grade III, $150,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship and the $150,000 Landaluce.
The main event Sunday, July 14 is the traditional closing day feature – the Grade III, $100,000 Sunset Handicap. The race at 1 ½ miles on turf lured 14 nominees, including Grade I Gamely Stakes winner Marketing Mix and defending champion Dhaamer.
Owned by breeder Juddmonte Farms, Inc. and trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Emollient led every step of the way under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith to dominate 12 rivals in the Ashland April 6 at Keeneland.
A daughter of Empire Maker and the Touch Gold mare Soothing Touch, Emollient has won three of seven and earned $446,900. She has never raced on turf.
The nominees also include Emotional Kitten, who has won two in a row on grass for owner-breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Wesley Ward, as well as Sarach, Scarlet Strike and Macha – the first three finishers in the Grade II Honeymoon Handicap June 8.
A Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Kitten’s Joy and the Ghazi mare Silent Emotion, Emotional Kitten won a $53,655 allowance April 7 at Keeneland and the $100,000 Hilltop Stakes May 17 at Pimlico. Both of those victories were by a nose. She’s won three of 10 in her career and banked $133,815.
The remaining American Oaks nominees are Becky Lou, Kyriaki, Topic and Wittgenstein.
Run at seven furlongs over Cushion Track for fillies and mares, the A Gleam is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In’’race.
The BC nominated winner of the A Gleam will receive fees-paid entry into the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, scheduled for Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.
Nine of the 15 nominees to the A Gleam are from four stables – Bob Baffert, Ron Ellis, Jerry Hollendorfer and Doug O’Neill.
A member of Racing’s Hall of Fame since 2009, Baffert, who won the 2011 A Gleam with Irish Gypsy, nominated Book Review, Candrea and Maker Or Breaker.
Winner of the Grade I La Brea Stakes last Dec. 26, Book Review, a 4-year-old Giant’s Causeway filly, has been sidelined since finishing second in the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes Feb. 16.
Candrea, a 4-year-old daughter of Trippi, has earned two of her three wins at Betfair Hollywood Park, but has never won a graded race. Maker Or Breaker has finished fourth in her last two starts, including the Grade II Marjorie L. Everett Handicap May 18 in her Cushion Track debut.
Ellis’ nominees are Include Me Out, impressive winner of the Desert Stormer Handicap June 16 and Teddy’s Promise, a troubled third as the 4-5 favorite in the Desert Stormer and winner of the Grade I La Brea Stakes in 2011 for owner-breeders Ted and Judy Nichols.
A five-time winner over Cushion Track, Teddy’s Promise, a 5-year-old, California-bred daughter of Salt Lake, was fifth in the 2012 A Gleam.
Hall of Famer Hollendorfer, who won this race in 2006 and 2007 with Somethinaboutlaura, nominated Esentepe and B. Thoughtful Stakes winner Curvy Cat while O’Neill’s nominees are Conkate and Dancingtothestars.
The remaining nominees: Byrama, E Z Kitty, Glamour Puss, Reneesgotzip, Rumor and Winding Way.
The Hollywood Juvenile’s eight nominees are topped by Willie B Awesome, a full brother to multiple stakes winner Willa B Awesome and runner-up to the promising Kobe’s Back in the Willard L. Proctor Memorial June 15.
The 11 nominees to the Landaluce include She’s a Tiger, a half-sister to multiple stakes winner and recently-retired Smiling Tiger, South Sound, a debut winner for Reddam Racing and O’Neill June 14 and Pleasant Miss, runner-up in the Cinderella Stakes June 15.
Owned by a partnership that includes Mark DeDomenico LLC, Allen Aldrich and Stuart Downey and trained by Jeff Bonde, She’s a Tiger won by nine lengths in her initial start June 22 at Pleasanton.
Both the Hollywood Juvenile and the Landaluce are run at six furlongs over Cushion Track.
Trained by Tom Proctor for Glen Hill Farm, the 5-year-old Marketing Mix won the Gamely by a head over Tiz Flirtatious for her ninth win in 17 starts.
The Canadian-bred daughter of Medaglia d’Oro will try to become the third female to win the Sunset should she start, joining Typecast (1972) and Petite Ile (1990).
Owned by Edward Brown, Jr. and Jay Manoogian and trained by Mike Mitchell, Dhaamer could be the first horse to win the Sunset more than once since Whodunit, who won in 1959 and 1961 when the race was contested at 1 5/8 miles on dirt.
Entries for the American Oaks, A Gleam, Hollywood Juvenile and Landaluce will be taken Wednesday, July 10. Sunset entries will be drawn Thursday, July 11.
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