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HOT SPRINGS, AR – Nancy Vanier and Horseplayers Racing Club’s homebred Raintree Starlet took over midway through the race and held on gamely in the stretch to score big in Saturday’s $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Breaking from post 6 under Alex Canchari at 5/1 odds, Raintree Starlet soon settled into second while Lady T N T posted opening fractions of :22.45 and :46.03. Making her bid near the 3/8 pole, Raintree Starlet cleared the pacesetter and crossed over to the rail, but Lady T N T wasn’t done yet and battled back. Still, the Brian Williamson trainee fended off her stubborn challenger under steady urging and crossed with a length advantage in a final time of 1:10.82 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
The 2/1 favorite Unholy Alliance came rallying in the stretch but just missed second by a neck. Adventurous Lady, Q Go Girl, Broadway Cat, and Spice It Up completed the order of finish in the mostly strung-out field.
“She’s been great,” Williamson said. “I thought she was live in here, but it looked like any horse in here could win if they run their race, and thankfully, we had our ‘A’ game today. I’m just so excited for everybody.”
Raintree Starlet’s win was her third straight and improved her overall record to 4-3-0-1. The 3-year-old daughter of Get Stormy has now earned $120,100 in her young career.
Raintree Starlet returned $13.40 to win, $5.80 to place, and $3.40 to show. Lady T N T brought back $4.60 to place and $3 to show, while Unholy Alliance paid $2.60 to show.
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