05/31/2010 5:06PM

Hollywood Park: Bring on the American Oaks


The Grade 1 American Oaks on July 3 could be an intriguing betting race. Monday's Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap, the leading California prep to the American Oaks, offered several clues.

Race winner Evening Jewel was allowed to set an easy pace, but as she has showed in the past,  notably a runner-up finish in the Kentucky Oaks on April 30, she can be effective as a stalker. Cozi Rosie, who ran second in the Honeymoon, had a bit of an unlucky trip, proving a handful for jockey Mike Smith on the backstretch before finishing well to miss by a nose.

City to City, who finished third, was compromised by the slow pace, but closed from last in the final three furlongs to lose by a length.

All three are likely to start in the American Oaks, which is run over 1 1-4 miles on turf on July 3. The purse of the race is down this year from previous seasons, but participation is expected from other 3-year-old fillies from other circuits, such as New York and Kentucky.