CHARLES TOWN, WV – Dorothy Matz’s homebred Tequilita overcame a slipping saddle in the stretch to win Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Charles Town Oaks.
Breaking from post 5, Tequilita settled off the pace under Luis Saez while Astrollinthepark and Yorkiepoo Princess took turns leading through splits of :22.84 and :46.65. Tequilita began her bid approaching the 3/8 pole, progressing steadily to take the lead while running three wide off of the far turn. By the 1/8 pole, the Michael Matz trainee had squirted clear of her foes and continued well to the wire (despite her saddle slipping back) to hit the wire first by 1 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:26.01 for the 7-furlong dirt sprint.
Off at 76-1 as the least favorite in the field of 10, Yorkiepoo Princess held on to finish second by a head in front of Overture, who in turn was a nose past Berned at the wire. Astrollinthepark faded to fifth, with Shimmering Aspen, Munny Spunt, R Angel Katelyn, and Downtown Mama completing the order of finish. Chanel’s Legacy, making her first start for new trainer David Cannizzo after transferring from the Chad Summers barn, was slammed at the break from both sides, was eased up shortly thereafter, and had to be vanned off.
The win was Tequilita’s second graded stakes victory in five attempts, with her first coming in the Grade 2 Forward Gal at Gulfstream Park on February 4. The $174,600 winner’s share increased her career earnings to $523,140. The 3-year-old daughter of Union Rags now has a record of 10-4-3-1.
Tequilita returned $7.60 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.40 to show. Yorkiepoo Princess brought back $72.20 to place and $25.20 to show, while Overture paid $4.60 to show.