Grade 1 winners Lady of Shamrock, the leader among three-year-old turf fillies on the West Coast, and Eden's Moon, who posted an impressive win in her first start on the surface, meet for the first time in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) Saturday at Del Mar.
Lady of Shamrock has blossomed on the California turf this year for trainer John Sadler, and will seek to pick up her fifth stakes win of the season in the Del Mar Oaks. After taking the Blue Norther Stakes and China Doll Stakes, both at Santa Anita Park over the winter, the Scat Daddy filly earned her first graded stakes victory in the Providencia Stakes (G3) in April at Santa Anita. Lady of Shamrock then finished second by a nose to My Gi Gi in the Honeymoon Handicap (G2) at Hollywood prior to posting her first Grade 1 victory the American Oaks (G1) July 14 at Betfair Hollywood Park, bravely squeezing through on the rail for the win.
Lady of Shamrock now has five wins from nine career starts for earnings of $465,400. Mike Smith, who has been aboard for all but one of the filly's stakes wins, has the mount on Saturday. They drew post two in the ten horse field.
Eden's Moon led throughout to win the San Clemente Handicap (G2) July 22 on the Del Mar course, her first try on the turf. The Malibu Moon filly was already a Grade 1 winner on dirt, as she took the Las Virgenes Stakes (G1) in March at Santa Anita; only unplaced once in seven career starts, she owns four graded stakes wins or placings overall. The Bob Baffert trainee drew post eight under Rafael Bejarano.
My Gi Gi and Best Present Ever, both stakes winners, finished second and third, respectively, behind Lady of Shamrock in the American Oaks. My Gi Gi, who starts for trainer Peter Eurton, already owns a win over the favorite in the Honeymoon Handicap.
Grade 1 placed Open Water and stakes winner Indigo River also return after finishing second and third, respectively, behind Eden's Moon in the San Clemente. Stakes winner Stormy Lucy, Group 3 placed Mary Fildes (Ire), and stakes placed Long Face and Cozze Up Lady complete the field.