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HOT SPRINGS, AR – Just as she did in last year’s Purple Martin Stakes, Ten Broeck Farm’s Kimari reasserted herself as queen of the Oaklawn Park slop after soundly winning Saturday’s $200,000 Spring Fever Stakes.
Kimari was the 3/5 favorite in the scratch-shortened field of six as she broke from the far outside post under Joel Rosario and stalked wide in the clear. Amy’s Challenge set the pace from the rail, but Kimari advanced while cornering and took the lead at the top of the stretch.
Drawing clear under a hand ride, the Wesley Ward trainee crossed 4 1/4 lengths clear, completing the 5 1/2-furlong sloppy (sealed) dirt sprint in 1:04.07.
“She ran very big,” Rosario said. “She was responding to everything I was asking for. Turning for home, she took the lead in hand. Looked like any time I wanted to go, she was there for me. I was very confident. That was a very big performance.”
Casal rallied from last to take second by 2 lengths over Shesomajestic. Amy’s Challenge, Best Kept Secret, and a distanced Ain’t No Elmers completed the order of finish.
Cashcheckorcharge, Headland, and Sunny Dale were scratched.
Kimari’s win was her first since last April’s Purple Martin and came in her 2021 debut; when last seen, she was third in last September’s Music City Stakes. The 4-year-old Munnings filly’s record now stands at 9-5-2-1 with $578,77 earned.
“She’s sound as new money and she probably ran one of the best races of her life,” Ward said. “Only thing different this year over last year was the outside post. It was to her advantage this year. We were fortunate. It made Joel’s job easier.”
Kimari returned $3.40 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.40 to show. Casual brought back $3 to place and $2.60 to show. Shesomajestic paid $4.20 to show.
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