HOT SPRINGS, AR – Juddmonte Farms homebred Taraz made easy work of her competition on Saturday, breezing home stylishly to win the $150,000 Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Breaking from post 3 under Florent Geroux as the 1/9 bettors’ choice, Taraz was last away from the gate, but she didn’t remain there for long. O Seraphina initially led from her rail post heading into the clubhouse turn, but Taraz soon effortlessly shot past her.
Settling comfortably while unpressured on the front end, Taraz posted opening fractions of :23.94, :47.50, and 1:12.44. Midway through the far turn, O Seraphina tried to close the gap and make a run, but Taraz brushed her off like a fly buzzing her tail.
Straightening for home still very much in hand, Taraz waltzed home stylishly before crossing 3 3/4 lengths the best in a final time of 1:38.64 for the mile-long event over the fast main track.
“I love her,” Geroux said. “She ended up good today. I think she’s definitely super talented.”
O Seraphina’s failed bid didn’t ruin her chances at second, as she was 6 1/4 lengths ahead of High On Gin, while Princesinha Julia was 10 lengths behind her to complete the order of finish. Shedaresthedevil was scratched.
The Martha Washington is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Taraz earned 10 points for the win, with O Seraphina receiving 4 for second, High On Gin 2 for third, and Princesinha Julia 1 for fourth.
Taraz’s win was her third in as many starts and increased her career bankroll to $192,412. The 3-year-old daughter of Into Mischief may next appear in a Kentucky Derby prep race, according to Cox, depending on how she comes out of the Martha Washington.
“It was a big effort in her first race around two turns,” Cox said. “We knew she would be tough to catch, but she has a lot of improving to do. Her talent is there but she needs to settle down mentally.”
Taraz returned $2.20 to win and $2.10 to place, while O Seraphina paid $ to place. There was no show betting.