Secret Oath stamped herself as a major player on the GI Kentucky Oaks trail with her second straight eye-catching victory at Oaklawn Park.
Breaking her maiden Oct. 31 by over five lengths beneath the Twin Spires in her second career start, Secret Oath came up empty finishing a well-beaten fifth in the GII Golden Rod S. next out Nov. 27. After dominating her allowance rivals with a visually impressive score with first-time Lasix last out Dec. 31 at Oaklawn Park, she returned just as brilliantly here.
Coming off Lasix for this race, and sent off an overwhelming 1-2 favorite, she broke in line with the field before being forced into the first turn widest of all when rivals to her inside ended up in no rush to push for Optionality's lead. Tracking the uncontested leader from fourth up the backstretch through easy fractions, Secret Oath was keen to get rolling before the bunched field hit the midway point on the final turn. Without being asked, the flashy chestnut cruised by her rivals coming to the top of the lane and was three in front by the final sixteenth. Optionality could only watch from second as the D. Wayne Lukas trainee disappeared from her competition, winning by an easy 7 1/4 lengths and earning 10 Kentucky Oaks points. Secret Oath is the first stakes winner for her Hall of Fame trainer since Warrior's Club (Warrior's Reward) won the GIII Commonwealth S. in April 2018.
“I had a great trip,” jockey Luis Contreras said. “She's a really good filly. I just tried to keep her covered as much as I could. She was fighting with me. She wanted to go every single step of the race… When I put her outside, she just exploded.”
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas added, “It was a replay [of her last race] and that's what we were looking for. That consistency is now coming and we're getting that maturity, as far as a professional racehorse. She's been very manageable, but she was a little immature before. But I think it's coming together now and we've just got to keep her happy and fat and we'll go down the road.”
Secret Oath becomes the second stakes winner for the late Arrogate. Out of Oaklawn specialist and two-time Bayakoa S. victress Absinthe Minded, Secret Oath joins her dam as a stakes winner in Hot Springs. The mare also finished third and second, respectively starting in 2011, in successive years in the track's marquee race for the ladies, the GI Apple Blossom H. The third filly to find a winner's circle for the broodmare, and the first stakes horse, Secret Oath also has an unnamed 2-year-old half-sister by Medaglia d'Oro. The mare is expecting a foal by Liam's Map this season.
MARTHA WASHINGTON S., $200,000, Oaklawn, 1-29, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:46.21, ft.
1–SECRET OATH, 122, f, 3, by Arrogate
1st Dam: Absinthe Minded (MSW & MGISP, $607,747), by Quiet American
2nd Dam: Rockford Peach, by Great Above
3rd Dam: Strawberry Skyline, by Hatchet Man
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-Briland Farm; B-Briland Farm, Robert
& Stacy Mitchell (KY); T-D. Wayne Lukas; J-Luis Contreras.
$120,000. Lifetime Record: 5-3-0-1, $285,167.
2–Optionality, 122, f, 3, Gun Runner–Simplify, by Pulpit.
O/B-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC; T-Steven M. Asmussen.
3–Como Square, 122, f, 3, Into Mischief–Pangburn, by
Congrats. 1ST BLACK TYPE. O/B-Shortleaf Stable, Inc.; T-Brad Cox. $20,000.
Margins: 7 1/4, 4 3/4, 2. Odds: 0.50, 3.50, 6.00.
Also Ran: Hypersport, Princess Pauline, Cupid's Music.
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