Updated on 09/17/2011 10:54AM

Dimitrova gets the job done

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Dimitrova, who is based in Ireland with trainer Dermot Weld, draws off to a two-length victory in the American Oaks under jockey David Flores.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The real battle for jockey David Flores in the $750,000 was securing the mount on Dimitrova, the Irish import. The seemingly easy part was winning Saturday's rich race for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.

After being given the ride in mid-June, Flores was informed last week that trainer Dermot Weld wanted to use Pat Smullen, his stable jockey in Ireland who had become available. But after appealing to the stewards that he had been given the call, Flores retained the mount. He then made the most of the situation.

Making her first start outside of Ireland, Dimitrova benefited from a perfect trip under Flores to win the second running of the American Oaks.

"Flores's agent was determined that he retain the ride, and David Flores gave the filly a beautiful ride," Weld said. "Everything worked out."

Dimitrova ($11.20) ran 1 1/4 miles on turf in 1:59.98, finishing two lengths in front of Sand Springs. Atlantic Ocean, always near the front, rallied along the inside to finish third in the field of 14, just edging 5-2 favorite Santa Catarina for the show.

The first four finishers occupied the first four positions throughout. The only filly to close any substantial ground in the final half-mile was Personal Legend, who rallied from 11th to finish fifth.

Dimitrova was never farther than four lengths behind pacesetter Sand Springs, the winner of the Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 14.

Sand Springs set early fractions of :24.78 and :47.79, while being closely attended by two fillies trained by Bob Baffert ? Santa Catarina and Atlantic Ocean.

Flores kept Dimitrova in fourth-place for the first mile, racing three lengths behind Sand Springs and off the rail. Entering the final turn, Flores moved Dimitrova three wide to reach a challenging position.

"I was expecting her to be closer but she was very comfortable where she was," Flores said. "I was just waiting patiently. She gave me a tremendous run in the last eighth of a mile."

Racing wide in early stretch, Dimitrova quickly put away Sand Springs and Santa Catarina and opened an insurmountable lead.

"When she quickens, it's all over," Weld said.

By Swain, Dimitrova has won 3 of 6 starts and $550,113 for Irish owner Joseph Higgins. In Ireland, she won the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes in April before finishing third in the Irish 1000 Guineas on May 25.

On Saturday, both Flores and Smullen were winners.

Smullen won the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes in Ireland for Weld aboard Perfect Touch, a race worth approximately $88,000.