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HOT SPRINGS, AR – A battle between fleet-footed females saw Frank’s Rockette wear down the 2019 race champion Amy’s Challenge to win Saturday’s $150,000 American Beauty Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Frank’s Rockette broke well from post 7 under Florent Geroux as the 3/5 favorite and sat just outside of Amy’s Challenge through opening fractions of :21.47 and :44.68.
Ranging up to engage the leader as they neared the top of the stretch, Frank’s Rockette hit the after-burners but Amy’s Challenge refused to let her go by easily.
The Bill Mott trainee gradually wore down the stubborn pacesetter before pulling away to win by 1 1/4 lengths, completing the 6-furlong muddy (sealed) dirt sprint in 1:10.03.
“She broke very alertly, which gave me a great option to be right there off the speed without any effort,” Geroux said. “And from there, I was just continuing to get pressure on Amy’s Challenge because when she’s on the lead, she can be very difficult to pass. I wanted to make sure I didn’t give my filly too much to do down the lane, but she was very professional, and when I asked her to go down the lane, she was all in and she gave me everything she had.”
Amy’s Challenge was 2 lengths clear of Wildwood’s Beauty.
Shesomajestic, Best Kept Secret, and Magic Dance completed the order of finish.
French Empire, Lady’s Island, and Sunny Dale scratched.
Frank’s Rockette’s win was a nice return to form after her 11th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) halted a 4-race win streak. The 4-year-old Frank Fletcher homebred daughter of Into Mischief improved her impressive record to 12-7-4-0 with $696,103 earned.
“Nice to see her come off the bench,” Mott said. “It’s great. What makes it better is Mr. Fletcher was there at his home track, so that’s like winning 2.”
Frank’s Rockette returned $3.20 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Amy’s Challenge brought back $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show, while Wildwood’s Beauty paid $3 to show.
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