FLORENCE, KY – Three Diamonds Farm’s Go Noni Go made a big move off of the far turn to catapult herself down the stretch to victory in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 DRF Bets Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park.
Breaking out awkwardly at the start from the far outside post under Tyler Gaffalione, Go Noni Go raced near the rear to regroup while Hey Negrita set early splits of :25.29 and :48.27. Swinging six-wide into the far turn, Go Noni Go hit the top of the stretch only a 1/2-length behind new leader In the Mood, then rallied strongly down the lane and cleared away late to win by 2 lengths in a final time of 1:39.09 for the mile-long event.
“I’ve ridden her before and I’m happy we finally got her a stakes win,” Gaffalione said. “Everything went as planned. She broke well today, she relaxed, and that was the main thing. Mike and his team did a great job getting her ready for today’s race.”
In the Mood faded late and nearly gave up the ghost, just edging Homemade Salsa for second by a neck. Hey Negrita, Consolida, Mo Flash, Bet She Wins, and Queen’s Fate completed the order of finish. Child’s Play, Classy Music, and Mauk’s Tuff were scratched.
The Bourbonette Oaks is part of the Road to the 2018 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Go Noni Go earned 20 points for the win, with In the Mood receiving 8 for second, Homemade Salsa 4 for third, and Hey Negrita 2 for fourth.
Go Noni Go improved her career record to 9-3-1-1 with career earnings of $161,865. The Mike Maker trainee was making her first-ever start over a synthetic surface.
“She ran a great race last time out at Gulfstream Park, that stakes race, but she was in a little bit over her head,” said Maker. “We flirted with the idea of running her on dirt but decided to try the Polytrack. And now she’s a stakes winner! She’s a very slight filly, she struggles with keeping weight on, but she’s easy to train.”
Go Noni Go returned $9.60 to win, $5 to place, and $3.20 to show. In the Mood brought back $5.20 to place and $3.40 to show, while Homemade Salsa paid $4.40 to show.