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American Oaks

Grade 1 race
American Oaks
File:Pic american oaks logo04.jpg
Location Hollywood Park Racetrack
Inglewood, California
Inaugurated 2002
Race type Thoroughbred - Flat racing
Website American Oaks 2007
Race information
Distance 1¼ miles (2000 meters)
Track Turf, Left-handed
Qualification Invitational, Fillies age Three
Weight Northern Hemisphere Fillies 121 lbs / Southern Hemisphere Fillies 125 lbs
Purse $750,000

The American Oaks Invitational Stakes is a Thoroughbred horse race run annually in early July at Hollywood Park Racetrack in Inglewood, California. Open to fillies age three and older, it is contested at a distance of one and one-quarter miles on turf.

Since its inception in 2002, it has strived to become a world class race by bringing in some of the best fillies from all over the world, offering a purse of US $750,000.

The American Oaks was first run as a Grade I event in 2004. Prior to 2004, it was a listed stakes race.








2010 Harmonious Martin Garcia John Shirreffs Pam and Marty Wygod 2:01.77
2009 Gozzip Girl Kent Desormeaux Tom Albertrani Farnsworth Stables 2:00.22
2008 Pure Clan Julien Leparoux Robert E. Holthus Lakin/IEAH Stables/Pegasus St 2:00.50
2007 Panty Raid Edgar Prado Todd A. Pletcher Glencrest Farm LLC 2:01.53
2006 Wait A While Garrett Gomez Todd Pletcher Arindel Farms 1:59.38
2005 Cesario Yuichi Fukunaga Katsuhiko Sumii Carrot Farm 1:59.03
2004 Ticker Tape Kent Desormeaux James M. Cassidy J. Ford/D. Pearson/J. Sweesy 2:01.54
2003 Dimitrova David Flores Dermot K. Weld Joseph Higgins 1:59.98
2002 Megahertz Alex Solis Robert J. Frankel Michael Bello 2:00:46

Race history


File:Pic megahertz oaks.jpg
Megahertz and Alex Solis (outside) battle with Dublino and Kent Desormeaux in the final yards of the Inaugural American Oaks in 2002.

The inaugural running of the American Oaks ended with a disqualification, as Dublino was disqualified from first place to second after several incidents happened with Megahertz (GB) on the track.

After an inquiry, it was shown that Dublino had bumped Megahertz in the stretch drive, and then the whip of jockey Kent Desormeaux hit Megahertz twice in the face, making Megahertz end the race a half-length behind.


Following a win in the Matriarch Stakes with Dress To Thrill (IRE), Dermot Weld pushed for another win at Hollywood Park, as Dimitrova under David R. Flores drove to a win at the second running of the American Oaks, defeating Sand Springs.


With the race under new G1 status, the field of horses had a diversified mix, the most notable horse being Dance in the Mood (JPN), a descendant of famed racehorse Sunday Silence. However, the favorite came up short.

By trapping Dance in the Mood at the rail and staying outside, Ticker Tape (GB) then drove past Dance in the Mood, and securing the win.

Some people who have seen the race feel that Dance in the Mood's loss may have in part been her jockey's error in judgement. Her jockey, Yutaka Take did not seem aware of the location of the Hollywood Park turf course finish line, and made a move that was just a little bit too close to the finish line to result in victory.


Horse racing history was made on July 3, 2005, when Japanese-bred Cesario, a granddaughter of Sunday Silence, trounced the favored and previously undefeated Melhor Ainda, racing away with a sizable four-length margin of victory. Cesario became the first Japanese-bred and Japan-based racehorse in nearly a half-century to win a US stakes race (Hakuchikara won the Washington's Birthday Handicap at Santa Anita in 1959 upsetting US champion Round Table), and avenged the second place finish of Japan's Dance in the Mood, the favorite in the 2004 edition of the race...who unfortunately lost to British-bred Ticker Tape by a length. Cesario's 2005 American Oaks win was big news in Japan, as Japanese media swarmed Cesario and her rider (famed Japanese jockey Yuichi Fukunaga) in the winner's circle as the Japanese flag waved over an American holiday weekend. Before the race, Japan TV broadcast a one-hour long TV show live from Hollywood Park about Cesario and her run at the American Oaks. The race was then broadcast live in Japan, where it was already Monday. Prior to the American Oaks, Cesario had won the Japanese Oaks, also known as the Yushun Himba ([1]).


Sent off as the third choice in a field of eight, Ocala Horses LLC's Wait A While drew off to an impressive 4½-length victory over 8-5 favorite Asahi Rising (JPN) and Arravale (CAN) in the invitational's fifth running. Trained by Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher, Wait A While was making just her second career start on the turf. Jockey Garrett Gomez stalked the early pace set by Attima (GB) and made a sweeping three-wide move around the second turn, clearing the field under mild left-handed urging. The connections had to wait several minutes for the race to be declared official after Alex Bisono, rider of Foxysox, alleged interference against Wait a While. Bisono claimed that Wait a While forced him to take up near the quarter-pole as the winner was making her sweeping move to the front of the pack. However, stewards disallowed it, saying Attima caused the traffic problem.



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