After just one new face showed up for the last two runnings of the American Oaks (Grade I), the purse bump to $350,000 for this year’s edition lured a pair of 3-year-old fillies from both the East Coast and Europe to compete over 1 ¼-miles on Hollywood Park’s turf course.
It’s not what it used to be when this race was added to the calendar in 2002 and reached its peak when Cesario shipped in from Japan to take down a $750,000 purse in 2005, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Nayarra ships in from Great Britain as an 8-to-1 long shot off a trio of disappointing efforts, including getting distanced in a pair of Group 1 events when sent off at 50-to-1. However, the Irish-bred daughter of Cape Cross is the only Grade or Group I winner in the field having notched her only victory when she closed out her 2-year-old campaign by winning the Gran Criterium in Italy.
A four-time winner from seven starts against much lesser competition in Great Britain, Miss Cato is listed at 6-to-1 with Garrett Gomez taking the call. The British-bred daughter of Notnowcato is the only runner with any success at today’s distance, finishing as the runner-up in both tries that have come over her last three starts.
The East Coast shippers both exit their stakes debuts in the Regret (Grade III) at Churchill Downs on June 16, where Colonial Flag finished second and Left a Message rallied from far back to run fourth.
The similarities between the two don’t end there, as they had both won their previous two starts before the Regret and will each be making their fifth straight start over a new turf course to start their careers.
The local contingent sees the top three from a blanket finish in the Honeymoon Handicap (Grade III) on June 9, where My Gi Gi got her nose down before Lady of Shamrock and Stormy Lucy was a half length behind.
Best Present Ever rounds out the field stepping out of Cal-bred company for the first time off a five-length win in the Campanile at Golden Gate Fields.
The trio of stakes on the under card is led by the A Gleam Handicap (Grade II) for older females sprinting seven furlongs on the main track.
Despite falling to defeat eight straight times with her two starts of 2012 the most disappointing of that streak, Switch is the 5-to-2 favorite hoping to take advantage of a hot pace to roll late.
Bob Baffert sends a pair that exit wins against weaker, with American Lady the 3-to-1 second choice and Glamorista given no respect at 15-to-1.
Izzy Rules looms the one to catch and beat at 7-to-2 looking to snap a three-race losing streak of her own after streaking to four straight clear wins. The 5-year-old daughter of Peace Rules was run down late in the Desert Stormer on June 17 by Turbulent Descent, who would have been the big favorite here if she hadn’t been sold to Coolmore for a reported $2.5 million.
A pair of 6-to-5 morning line favorites are the headliners in the highlight stakes at the meet for juveniles that both have a purse of $150,000 and are part of the early Pick-5.
Amarish looks to lead the males in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (Grade II) off wins by a combined 12 ¼-lengths and Executiveprivilege is given the nod in the Landaluce Stakes against females after cruising through a troubled trip to win her debut by 4 ¼-lengths.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 7 (1,5,7,8,9,10,11) – An extremely challenging sequence begins with an always tough non-winners of two lifetime and we’ll use seven runners with No. 1 Propero, No. 5 Evening Twilight, No. 7 Bila Shaka, No. 8 Kit Cat Kitty, No. 9 Scalpers Dream, No. 10 Red Flags Flying and No. 11 Ghost N Your Heart.
Leg 2 – Race 8 (ALL) – A perplexing race where a case can be made for any of the runners. No. 1 Stormy Lucy is 20-to-1 after just missing against No. 2 Lady of Shamrock and No. 4 My Gi Gi. The betting in this race could go anywhere and the all button makes the most sense.
Leg 3 – Race 9 (7) – After it looked like No. 7 Izzy Rules tailed off, she came back with a career best effort in her last only losing to the imposing Turbulent Descent. She’s never gone this far, but she has a big shot to run them off their feet and should be a square price.
Leg 4 – Race 10 (2,4,6,8,9) – Another wide-open even for Cal-bred allowance maidens sprinting on turf and we’ll close it out with No. 2 Jammin Lady Louli, No. 4 Maurie’s Tizzy, No. 6 Puff Pastry, No. 8 Lady Shazzam and No. 9 First Class Flyer.
Recap – (1,5,7,8,9,10,11) w (ALL) w (7) w (2,4,6,8,9) – Total cost of ticket = $140
Yesterday’s Result – (-$69.65)
Total for current Hollywood Park spring/summer meet – (-$1,976.20)
Total from 12/26/10 – 4/22/12 – (+$588.70)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (1,3,4,5,7) – We’ll use the lone runner with experience in No. 1 Swiss Bliss, along with debuters No. 3 Tribal Gal, No. 4 Resisting Arrest, No. 5 Bert’s Altercation and No. 7 Roust ‘Em Bertie.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (6) – No. 6 Amarish is the overwhelming favorite to pull off the same triple Majestic City did last year and it would take him stubbing his toe to get beat.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (4,7) – Lots of early speed, much of it coming from runners that aren’t proficient in the turf route game, means Best Bet No. 4 Sky Cape will be tough to beat tracking from mid-pack.
If he gets caught up or moves too early, No. 7 Jairzihno gets one last shot despite winning just twice from 36 starts.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (ALL) – No. 6 Executiveprivilege was dazzling in debut and could make it a very chalky sequence, but if she doesn’t get the job done it could be any of the others so we’ll use them all.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (1,4,8,11) – No. 11 Anabaa’s Bluff debuts with a solid work tab and his sire is clicking with a ridiculous 31% of first-time starters.
Spread with favorites No. 1 Devgru and No. 8 A.P. Corsair, along with No. 4 Officer Bavetta, whose only effort over this main track resulted in a solid third-lace finish.
Recap – (1,3,4,5,7) w (6) w (4,7) w (ALL) w (1,4,8,11) – Total cost of ticket = $160
Yesterday’s Result – (+$367.30)
Total for current Hollywood Park spring/summer meet – (-$162.60)
Total from 7/20/11 – 4/22/12 – (+$2,150.80)
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