INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Nine weeks since she scored an impressive victory in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes, Mrs Kipling will attempt to win the third stakes of her career in the $700,000 American Oaks at Hollywood Park on Sunday.
The layoff is not a concern to trainer Neil Drysdale. It is the race distance of 1 1/4 miles on turf that poses more of an issue.
"We'll see if she can go 10 furlongs," Drysdale said. "We know she'll go a mile."
Owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, Mrs Kipling could be overlooked in the American Oaks, which includes 3-year-old fillies from California and across the United States, as well as three foreigner shippers.
She is one of several contenders in a solid field. Mrs Kipling is making her third start in this country, having finished second in the Grade 2 Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita in April. Last year, she won a minor stakes in Italy.
Mrs Kipling's break since the Senorita on May 3 is the longest layoff of the 14 fillies entered in the American Oaks. Drysdale considered starting Mrs Kipling in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf on May 31, but elected to pass.
"I didn't think she was at her best," Drysdale said. "The weights were unfavorable."
Since then, Mrs Kipling has trained much brighter, Drysdale said.
"She's a willing workhorse," he said.
The American Oaks could be the start of a sequence of Grade 1 appearances for Mrs Kipling. Grade 1 races such as the Del Mar Oaks in August, the Garden City Stakes at Belmont Park in September, and the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes at Keeneland in October become possibilities with a big race on Sunday.
Mrs Kipling drew the outside post in a field of 14. The other leading contenders are the English stakes winner Apple Charlotte; Well Monied, who won the Honeymoon; and Gozzip Girl, the winner of the Sands Point Stakes at Belmont Park on May 30.
Siren Lure pushing $1 million
Thursday was the three-year anniversary of Siren Lure's win in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park. The thought of that much time passing and Siren Lure remaining in training amazes trainer Art Sherman.
"I was thinking just a couple of days ago how special it is to have a horse run that long," he said.
Siren Lure, 8, who began his career in October 2004, is on the verge of becoming a millionaire. He has won 15 of 37 starts and $994,244. A finish in the first five of Sunday's $300,000 Triple Bend will put him past the seven-figure mark and make him Sherman's first millionaire.
A nine-time stakes winner, Siren Lure won the Golden Gate Sprint in March and was a fast-closing fourth in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap here May 16, losing by 1 1/2 lengths.
"One more jump and he's third," Sherman said. "He was just getting in gear."
The Golden Gate Sprint and Los Angeles Handicap showed Sherman that Sire Lure can compete in top-class races. How that translates into a crowded and competitive field in the Grade 1 Triple Bend over seven furlongs is another issue.
"He might have lost a step or two," Sherman admits.
Owned by Stuart Kesselman and Tony Melkonian, Siren Lure will be retired at the end of 2009, Sherman said.
"This will be his last year," he said. "They want to retire him."
Eurton draws ban, fine
Trainer Peter Eurton has been fined $5,000 and suspended for 30 days for a clenbuterol positive that occurred in the spring, according to a ruling released by Hollywood Park stewards on Thursday.
As part of an agreement with the California Horse Racing Board, Eurton must serve a five-day suspension through July 11 and will have the remaining 25 days of the suspension stayed provided he does not have a positive test for medications in Classes 1, 2, or 3 through July 2, 2010.
The positive was found in a postrace test taken from Areutrue, the winner of the 12th race at Hollywood Park on May 2. The first-place purse of $7,800 was order forfeited by Hollywood Park stewards last month.
Clenbuterol is a commonly used bronchial dilator for horses with breathing problems. It is allowed to appear in postrace tests only at minute levels.