Von Hemel Taking Two Shots at Martha Washington
Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel is scheduled to take two shots at Grade 1 winner Nickname in Saturday’s $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Oaklawn. He has entered unbeaten multiple stakes winner My Master Plan and Ready to Confess in the 1-mile Martha Washington, a race he won in 2006 with Brownie Points.
All four of My Master Plan’s starts came last year at Remington Park, including a head triumph over Dorodansa in the $100,000 Trapeze Stakes Dec. 13. Von Hemel had considered starting My Master Plan’s 3-year-old campaign in the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes Jan. 15 at Oaklawn, but decided against cutting back to 6 furlongs.
The 1-mile Trapeze was the filly’s first start around two turns.
“I think going forward you have some opportunities going long, if you can do that,” Von Hemel said. “She did the first time, so we thought we would give it another try here. Hopefully, we didn’t make a mistake.”
My Master Plan and Ready to Confess, a first-level allowance/optional claiming winner going a mile Jan. 15 at Oaklawn, are both 6-1 in the program for the Martha Washington.
Ready to Confess, a daughter of More Than Ready, edged Dorodansa by a half-length Jan. 15 to remain unbeaten in two starts around two turns. Well-beaten in her first two career starts sprinting, She broke her maiden at a mile and 70 yards Nov. 28 at Remington Park.
“She’s a well-bred filly and has shown talent from the very beginning,” Von Hemel said. “I think we were more disappointed those first two races than anything. I think the key was two turns. She’ll definitely stay two turns.”
Ready to Confess races for her breeder, Josephine Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stable.
Brownie Points, another Pin Oak homebred, is the dam of Synchrony, who is scheduled to run in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 15 at Oaklawn for Pin Oak and Von Hemel.
McPeek’s ‘Martha’ Move
Trainer Kenny McPeek said Thursday morning that Grade 2 winner Dothraki Queen is about a “week to 10 days” from her first breeze at Oaklawn and may not make her 3-year-old debut until early April. Dothraki Queen finished third in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) Oct. 31 at Keeneland.
However, McPeek is still scheduled to be represented in the Martha Washington, the first major local two-turn prep for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 9, with Dorodansa, runner-up in her 3-year-old debut, a Jan. 15 first-level allowance/optional claimer at Oaklawn.
The 8-5 program favorite for the Martha Washington is Nickname, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Dorodansa is the early 4-1 second choice.
“We beat Nickname with Dothraki Queen, but I think this filly of mine is a pretty good filly,” McPeek said.
Dorodansa was beaten a half-length by Ready to Confess – one of two Donnie K. Von Hemel-trained fillies entered in the Martha Washington – in the Jan. 15 allowance/optional claimer.
“Von Hemel’s filly ran good and held us off the last time,” McPeek said. “We’ll see.”
As for Dothraki Queen, she hasn’t started since finishing fourth in the $200,000 Golden Rod Stakes (G2) Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs. McPeek said Dothraki Queen gained about 100 pounds during a 45-day break following the Golden Rod and is a candidate for the Fantasy and $500,000 Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland April 9.
McPeek said she could resurface on turf and plans to nominate Dothraki Queen to the 1000 Guineas Stakes May 1 at Newmarket.
“She might be a better grass filly,” McPeek said.
Dothraki Queen won her career debut on turf before moving to dirt and winning the $200,000 Pocahontas Stakes (G2) Sept. 12 at Churchill Downs.
Haveyougoneaway, winner of the $100,000 American Beauty Stakes Jan. 23 at Oaklawn, worked a bullet half-mile in :47.40 after the renovation break Friday morning for trainer Allen Milligan. Haveyougoneaway is pointing for the $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes Feb. 20 at Oaklawn. … Multiple stakes winner Carve, a candidate for the $100,000 Essex Handicap Feb. 13 at Oaklawn, worked a bullet 5 furlongs in 1:00.20 after the break under Ricardo Santana Jr. Carve, who is trained by Steve Asmussen, won the $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes last year at Oaklawn. … Domain’s Rap became the first two-time winner of the Oaklawn meet in Thursday’s sixth race for trainer Federico Villafranco and Danny Caldwell, Oaklawn’s leading owner the last two years. … Whitmore, a candidate for the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 15 at Oaklawn, is scheduled to work Monday, according to Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, who co-owns and trains the gelding. … War Stroll, a Jan. 28 maiden winner at Oaklawn, is under consideration for the Southwest, trainer Kenny McPeek said. … Nominations to the Southwest, a major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16, close Friday.
Source: Oaklawn Park