ARCADIA, Calif. –Unbeaten in two starts in Italy, Irish-bred Island of Love will make her U.S. debut in Sunday’s $75,000 Lady of Shamrock Stakes at Santa Anita. For three-year-old fillies, the Lady of Shamrock has attracted a field of six at one mile on turf.
Trained by Phil D’Amato, Island of Love won her first start on Sept. 3 going six furlongs on turf by seven lengths. Off at 3-1, she defeated 10 rivals, including males and was subsequently the 4-5 favorite versus eight sophomore fillies in a minor stakes on Sept. 12. Run at six furlongs on grass, Island of Love made short work of her competition, winning by 2 ½ lengths.
With her first recorded breeze going three furlongs on the main track at Del Mar Dec. 1, D’Amato has sent Island of Love to Santa Anita’s inner training track for a series of seven drills in preparation for her debut on Sunday.
Owned by R Unicorn Stable, Island of Love gets the services of leading rider Flavien Prat.
A $300,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, the Jonathan Wong trained Shoppingforpharoah employed front-running tactics going one mile on turf here in the ungraded Blue Norther Stakes Jan. 2 and thus rates a big chance in what will be her second route try.
A daughter of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Shoppingforpharoah is owned by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC and will be ridden for the second time in a row by Ricky Gonzalez.
With Flavien Prat opting to ride Island of Love, John Velazquez will take over on the Ruben Alvarado-trained Travel Smart. Owned by Gary Barber, this Florida-bred daughter of Gormley rallied from off the pace to take a one mile turf maiden $50,000 claimer by 1 ¼ lengths two starts back here on Oct. 30.
Subsequently sixth, beaten 2 ¼ lengths in the Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes going one mile on turf Nov. 27 at Del Mar, Travel Smart, who was rank early in the Durante, will hope to settle off a realistic pace in the Lady of Shamrock, which will be her fourth start.
THE LADY OF SHAMROCK WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 5 of 9 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT
- Travel Smart–John Velazquez–120
- Shoppingforpharoah–Ricardo Gonzalez–120
- Lucky Girl–Joe Bravo–120
- Island of Love–Flavien Prat–120
- Fuente Ovejuna–Juan Hernandez–120
- Gold Dragon Queen–Umberto Rispoli–120
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Phil D’Amato (Benoit Photo)