07/07/2012 2:27PM

Hollywood Park notes: My Gi Gi going for top dollar and prestige in American Oaks

Shigeki Kikkawa
My Gi Gi will try to stretch out to 1 1/4 miles in the Grade 1 American Oaks.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Economics played a vital role in the decision to point My Gi Gi for Saturday’s $350,000 American Oaks at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Trainer Peter Eurton and the partnership that owns the 3-year-old filly could wait for the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap over a mile on turf at Del Mar on July 22, but the purse and Grade 1 status of the American Oaks makes the race more attractive.

“We’ll definitely go here,” Eurton said. “She deserves a try at it.”

My Gi Gi earned a spot in the American Oaks with her first stakes win, a nose victory over Lady of Shamrock in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf on June 9. The American Oaks is run over 1 1/4 miles on turf, and represents the top race of the spring-summer meeting for 3-year-old fillies.

“The San Clemente will be an easier spot, I think, and a distance we know she can do,” Eurton said.

If My Gi Gi can relax in the first half of the American Oaks, Eurton says she can handle the added distance.

“I think we can turn it into a sprint for her,” he said. “She can drop in, get covered up, and quicken when needed.”

Saturday, My Gi Gi worked five furlongs in 1:01.60, without company, Eurton said.

By E Dubai, My Gi Gi has won 2 of 7 starts and $157,540. In the American Oaks, she will face a tough field, with two shippers from Europe – Miss Cato and Nayarra – as well as runners from California and other circuits in the United States.

Lady of Shamrock, a three-time stakes winner at Santa Anita since Christmas, may go favored. Trained by John Sadler, she worked seven furlongs in 1:26.60 on Saturday. Mike Smith will ride Lady of Shamrock in the American Oaks.

The field will not include Angegreen, the runner-up in the Italian Oaks in May. She was not sent to California for the race, according to international officials.

Mitchell back at the track

Trainer Mike Mitchell, who underwent surgery for a brain tumor on June 29, spent Friday and Saturday mornings at Hollywood Park, watching workouts.

Saturday, Mitchell watched several of his horses work, including Dhaamer, the winner of the Round Table Stakes in May. Dhaamer, who worked six furlongs in 1:16.60, is being pointed for the $100,000 Sunset Handicap over 1 1/2 miles on turf on July 15.

Mitchell said on Saturday that he is hoping to attend that race, which he envisions will be his first day back to the races.

In his recent absence, the stable has been directed by his assistant, Phil D’Amato, and son-in-law, Craig Rounsefell.

While hospitalized, Mitchell scored his biggest win of the year, with Camp Victory in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap on June 30. Camp Victory is a candidate for the $250,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes over seven furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 26.

The July 15 program is the final day of the spring-summer meeting. Del Mar opens its summer meeting on Wednesday, July 18.