ROOM SERVICE SHIPS IN TO WIN GRADE I, $350,000 AMERICAN OAKS; CATALANO TRAINEE WINS BY 2 ¼ LENGTHS UNDER BRIDGMOHAN

GARY & MARY WEST HOMEBRED BY MORE THAN READY WINS THIRD IN-A-ROW WITH PERFECT TRIP

ARCADIA, Calif. (May 31, 2014)—The second choice at 2-1, Gary and Mary West’s homebred Room Service shipped in from Kentucky to win Saturday’s Grade I, $350,000 American Oaks by 2 ¼ lengths under Shaun Bridgmohan, getting 1 ¼ miles on turf in 2:01.28.

Trained by Wayne Catalano, Room Service lagged far back early behind fractions of 24.98, 48.03, 1:12.02 and 1:36.77.

“We had a perfect trip, it really set up well for her style of running,” said Bridgmohan. “We obviously wanted a little pace to run at and we got it.”

When asked about transitioning from a Grade I win in the Ashland Stakes over synthetic polytrack at Keeneland on April 5, Bridgmohan said, “She’s a pretty nice turf horse. Wayne and his crew have really done a great job with her.

“I happened to work her on the grass at Churchill (five furlongs on May 6) and she’s got a great turn of foot on it. She showed that here today.”

A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by More Than Ready, Room Service paid $6.40, $3.60 and $3.00.

In winning for the third consecutive time, Room Service improved her overall mark to 7-4-1-2. With the winner’s share of $210,000, she hiked her earnings to $546,565.

“It’s always worth the trip when you win, and it’s super weather, anyway,” said Catalano. “I thought everything was unfolding like I expected it to. Going a mile and a quarter, I didn’t think she’d get too far back. We were very happy to see the position she was in. When Shaun pulled the trigger and moved a little bit to get the jump on the horses, I thought it was a good move.

“It was great to be in California with the West’s. The way it worked out, you couldn’t have written a better script…We came to Mr. West’s hometown and decided to win a race.”

Ridden by Mike Smith, Diversy Harbor was last in a field of eight sophomore fillies after the first six furlongs and made a determined run to finish second, despite being thrown off stride a quarter mile from home.

“We got tangled up with Doug O’Neill’s filly (Loan Savant, ridden by Mario Gutierrez) and my filly kinda got turned sideways,” said Smith. “I’d have liked to have had a clean run at them, but this might be best in the long run. She settled real well today and made a big run, which is what she needs to do.”

Off at 7-1, Diversy Harbor finished a neck clear of Little Journey and paid $6.00 and $4.20.

French-bred Little Journey, who shipped in from Belmont Park and was ridden by Joe Bravo, was off at 5-1 and paid $4.00 to show.

Nashoba’s Gold, who was the 3-2 favorite with Joe Talamo, steadied sharply at the three sixteenths pole and lacked the necessary rally, finishing fifth, beaten 5 ¼ lengths.

“It got a little tight around the quarter pole,” said Talamo. “I was going for a spot, but that’s horse racing. I really had a good trip up to that point. Actually, me and the winner were kind of moving at the same point. I was going for a hole but they just had a little more momentum and we got squeezed a little bit out of there.

“I don’t know if we’d have won today, but I think we’d have definitely hit the board. It cost her a lot of momentum.”