A year after Secret Oath gave her late sire Arrogate a first winner of the GI Kentucky Oaks, the stallion looks to have a legitimate chance to add to that total posthumously in the form of Affirmative Lady (Arrogate), who made multiple runs to cause an 8-1 upset in Saturday's GII Gulfstream Park Oaks.
A breakthrough maiden winner with first-time blinkers over track and trip at first asking Feb. 26, the AMO Racing USA colorbearer got a good spot at the fence through the early exchanges as Flakes (Frosted) took advantage of her innermost draw to set the pace from Infinite Diamond (Bee Jersey) and a three-wide last out GII Davona Dale S. upsetter Dorth Vader (Girvin).
Quietly ridden down the backstretch by Luis Saez, Affirmative Lady had about three lengths to find entering the turn and was ridden aggressively inside of a weakening Infinite Diamond to be in striking position turning for home. Pulled out into the three path, she found yet another gear and raced over the top of rivals en route to a two-length victory over a game Sacred Wish (Not This Time). Flakes held for third, while Dorth Vader could do no better than fourth.
“When she broke her maiden here five weeks ago, I thought it was really impressive and the timing was good,” winning trainer Graham Motion said. “I think she really wants to go further. I think she'll really appreciate a mile and an eighth, to be honest.”
Affirmative Lady came within a neck of earning her diploma at third asking in the GII Demoiselle S. at Aqueduct Dec. 3 and added a third-place finish, still as a maiden, in the Busanda S. in South Ozone Park Jan. 14. She recorded co-career high 70 Beyer Speed Figures in the Demoiselle and her last-out maiden victory.
Affirmative Lady earned 100 points in the Gulfstream Park Oaks to seal her spot in the starting gate for the GI Kentucky Oaks.
“There's a big race going a mile and an eighth in May, so we'll think about that,” Motion said. “Look, if she comes out of it OK, we have to [run]. That's what she wants to do.”
Affirmative Lady, a $210,000 KEESEP yearling turned $400,000 OBS April breezer (:10 2/5), becomes the seventh stakes/fifth graded winner for the gone-too-soon Arrogate. Broodmare sire Stephen Got Even is now responsible for 17 stakes/five graded winners. MSW & MGSP Stiffed, a $320,000 purchase by Affirmative Lady's breeder Alastar Thoroughbred Co. while in foal to Pioneerof the Nile at the 2018 KEENOV sale, produced a filly by Nyquist in 2021 ($170,000 KEESEP yearling) and a filly by Connect this year.
Saturday, Gulfstream Park
GULFSTREAM PARK OAKS PRESENTED BY FANDUEL TV-GII,
$255,000, Gulfstream, 4-1, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:44.69, ft.
1–AFFIRMATIVE LADY, 122, f, 3, by Arrogate
1st Dam: Stiffed (MSW & MGSP, $256,559), by Stephen
2nd Dam: High Noon Nellie, by Silver Deputy
3rd Dam: Full and Fancy, by Marfa
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($210,000
Ylg '21 KEESEP; $400,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR). O-AMO Racing
USA; B-Alastar Thoroughbred Co, LLC (KY); T-H. Graham
Motion; J-Luis Saez. $150,350. Lifetime Record: 6-2-1-2,
$270,568. Werk Nick Rating: B+. Click for the eNicks report &
5-cross pedigree. Click for the free Equineline.com
2–Sacred Wish, 122, f, 3, Not This Time–Indian Wish, by Indian
Charlie. 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($80,000
Wlg '20 KEENOV; $70,000 RNA Ylg '21 KEESEP; $50,000 2yo '22
EASMAY). O-Black Type Thoroughbreds, Swinbank Stables,
Steve Adkisson, Christopher T. Dunn and Anthony Spinazzola;
B-John R. Penn (KY); T-George Weaver. $48,500.
3–Flakes, 122, f, 3, Frosted–Tell a Great Story, by Bluegrass Cat.
1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($50,000 2yo '22
OBSAPR). O-BC Racing LLC; B-Arindel (FL); T-Juan Alvarado.
Margins: 2, HD, NK. Odds: 8.50, 9.10, 30.50.
Also Ran: Dorth Vader, Miracle, Infinite Diamond, Atomically,
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs.
VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.