Horse Racing

Hollywood Racetrack: Grade 1 American Oaks

Without a real pace setter, expect a jam packed Grade 1 finish
Without a real pace setter, expect a jam packed Grade 1 finishAlan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Joseph CiracoCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2011

The feature race at Hollywood Park is the Grade 1 American Oaks that features 7:5 morning line favorite Bizzy Caroline.

Bizzy Caroline has three wins in five career starts on the turf, including the easy two-length win in the Grade 3 Regret on June 18. The jockey change to Rafael Bejarano is also a major plus.

I think the major threat in this race is Nereid, who is trained by John Shirreffs. This very lightly race 3-year-old has won both races on the Hollywood turf and appears to be a great value at 5:1.

The lack of a pace setter is the major uncertainty in this race.

Entrustment is a solid closer and is coming off a nice performance in the Grade 2 Honeymoon but will be hurt by the lack of speed in this race. Her last two races are her best, so she's in good form and can easily finish in the money.

Love Theway Youare is the only horse in this race that appears to be incapable of winning. This is not a good spot for her to be trying the grass for the first time.

Cambina is a solid 3-year that consistently runs well but has come up short in her last two against a lot of the horses in this race. She has five wins on turf but hasn't won at Hollywood in either start.

Star Billing is the other Shirreffs-trained horse and should be close early. I'm not sure how well she will like the 10-furlong distance in this race. She romped in the Grade 3 Senorita on May 7 but didn't have the same stretch power in the Grade 2Honeymoon at nine furlongs on June 11.

Bizzy Caroline will stalk whoever has the lead, which will probably end up being Nereid, and pass her in the stretch to win this $250,000 Grade 1. Nereid will hold off both Entrustment and Cambine for second in 2:01.3.

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