08/18/2012 8:32PM

Del Mar: Closing kick carries Lady of Shamrock to Del Mar Oaks victory

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Benoit Photo
Lady of Shamrock wins the Del Mar Oaks under Mike Smith.

DEL MAR, Calif.- Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith’s description of Lady of Shamrock’s rally best describes her style of victory in Saturday’s $300,000 Del Mar Oaks.

“She goes from last to woom,” he said. “She’s got a great turn of foot. You’ve got to trust her.”

Smith rode Lady of Shamrock ($4) confidently in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and was rewarded when the filly closed with a remarkable rally to win by a half-length over 43-1 Stormy Lucy. Open Water, a 25-1 shot, finished third in the field of nine.

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Eden’s Moon, the winner of the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap in July and the 2-1 second choice, could only finish fifth after racing near the front for the first six furlongs.

Smith had Lady of Shamrock in last place for the first six furlongs, well behind a pace of 23.67 and 47.12 seconds shared by Eden’s Moon and Best Present Ever. Lady of Shamrock began to make progress on the field on the final turn and closed well with a six-wide rally into the stretch.

Third with a furlong remaining, Lady of Shamrock took the lead in the final sixteenth, finishing 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.30. She was sent off favored.

“We got a little pace to run at,” winning trainer John Sadler said. “When I saw [fractions] of 23 and 47 [seconds], I felt good.

“It was a nice ride. When you’re on the best horse you don’t want to get into trouble.”

Owned by Kosta Hronis, Lady of Shamrock won the fifth stakes of her career in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and her second consecutive Grade 1 race. She won the American Oaks over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 14. By Scat Daddy, Lady of Shamrock has won 6 of 10 starts and $645,400.

Sadler indicated that the $250,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 29, a race formerly known as the Yellow Ribbon Stakes, may be Lady of Shamrock’s next start. He considers her a candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.