Hot Springs, Ark. (Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016) – Rags Racing Stable LLC’s Marquee Miss stormed home to her second consecutive stakes victory of the meet, while upsetting 1-2 favorite Nickname in Saturday’s $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes. The win was also vindication for trainer Ingrid Mason who was denied the upset last year when eventual Grade 2 winner Sarah Sis reluctantly gave way to champion Take Charge Brandi late in the one-mile race.
In Saturday’s race, Marquee Miss stalked the pace set by Durango through early fractions of :23 3/5 and :47 for the first half mile with 1-2 favorite Nickname sitting in fourth place, tucked in behind horses along the rail. As the field entered the stretch, jockey Corey Nakatani guided the favorite up the rail, but they were soon joined by the eventual winner, who had the momentum to pass her rival for a half-length victory in 1:39 for one mile over fast track.
“I thought she ran fantastic,” said Mason. “I couldn’t ask anything more for her. I thought Channing did an awesome job riding her and put her in an awesome spot that she needed to be in. She obviously has a lot more run in her than we thought. She ran really well and we are happy with how well she has developed this year.”
Dorodansa, the 5-1 second choice, overcame a poor start and got up for third after running last year. She was followed by Durango, Ready to Confess, My Master Plan and Red Fern Doll.
Marquee Miss, who also won the $100,000 Dixie Belle opening day, has now won three of six career starts and earned $164,925. Dismissed at odds of 12-1, the Cowboy Call filly returned $26.20, $7 and $5.
Live racing resumes Sunday at Oaklawn with an early Super Bowl Sunday first post of 1:05 p.m.
Martha Washington Quotes:
Winning jockey Channing Hill – “Just when we hit the top of the stretch, I kind of had to pinch Randy Morse’s horse (Durango) a little bit just to kind of put the pressure back on Steve’s horse (Nickname) coming up the fence. Obviously, it’s not ideal having a Grade I winner coming up the fence on you. My filly’s just a little more game when she gets competitive – head-and-head. She was all heart today.”
Winning trainer Ingrid Mason – “I thought she ran fantastic! I couldn’t ask anything more for her. I thought Channing did an awesome job riding her and put her in an awesome spot that she needed to be in. She obviously has a lot more run in her than we thought. She ran really well and we are happy with how well she has developed this year.”
Jockey Corey Nakatani, second aboard Nickname – “My filly ran exceptional for her first start of the year. She ran a dynamite race, the other horse had just a little bit more today. She’ll be looking forward to the next race. She’s a really nice filly that didn’t get the win today but ran a great race.”
Source: Santa Anita Park