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WILMINGTON, DE – Taking advantage of a field scratch-shortened by half of its original 14 entries, trainer Matthew Williams’ Dream Marie rallied in the stretch to break her stakes maiden in Wednesday’s $100,000 Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park.
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Dream Marie broke from squarely in the middle of the field under jockey Joe Bravo at 8/1 odds and quickly found herself outkicked by all heading into the clubhouse turn.
The rail-breaking Shyza posted opening fractions of :23.07 and :47.20 as the 6/5 favorite Bajan Girl and Miss Marissa tracked two- and three-wide while in the clear.
Bravo moved Dream Marie out wide on the backstretch to avoid any further kickback and began advancing as Bajan Girl took over command at the top of the far turn.
Miss Marissa ranged up to take the lead midway through cornering, but a three-wide Dream Marie ranged up to secure first near the 1/16 pole before drawing off to win the 1 1/16-mile sloppy dirt route by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:44.40.
“She really likes this course,” Bravo said. “The last time she was on this course, she was a very game second, a heartbeat from winning. Today, as I was expecting, when she turned for home, she really kicked off nicely.”
A hard-fighting Miss Marissa saved second by 2 lengths over Market Rumor, while Bajan Girl faded in the stretch before crossing in fourth.
The 5/2 second choice Graceful Princess and longshots Artful Splatter and Shyza completed the order of finish.
Crystal Ball, Promised Storm, Jilted Bride, Trolley Ride, Sweet Sami D, and Queen Nekia scratched.
Dream Marie’s win was her first since defeating optional claimers at Gulfstream Park West last November and improved her overall record to 20-5-4-1. The 4-year-old Graydar filly, purchased for $25,000 as a juvenile by current owner Miracle’s International Trading, has now earned $297,420.
“She really likes being here at Delaware,” Williams said. “She ran really well here last year and she was only beaten a 1/2-length. She has been training really well. … The Delaware Handicap (G2) is definitely a consideration. It is a mile and 1/4, so we have to think about it, but she really likes it here at Delaware, so we got a lot to think about.”
Dream Marie returned $19.40 to win, $10 to place, and $5.60 to show. Miss Marissa brought back $7.60 to place and $4.60 to show. Market Rumor paid $3.20 to show.
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