By Stefanie Grimm
Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency
8th-OP, $108K, Alw/OC, 4yo/up, f, 1 1/16m, 5:39 p.m.
GIW MARACUJA begins her 4-year-old campaign Friday against an allowance field at Oaklawn Park. She returns off a six-month freshening following a fourth-place effort behind Clairiere (Curlin) in the GI Cotillion S. Sep. 25 at Parx, where she seemed poised to strike but ultimately weakened down the stretch. The gray/roan daughter of Honor Code makes her first trip to Oaklawn after racing exclusively on the East Coast in her career thus far. Her crowning achievement came after a three-month break last year in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks July 24 at Saratoga where she defeated not only Clairiere but also eventual 2021 Champion 3-year-old Filly Malathaat (Curlin) by a head for her first graded stakes win. Purchased as a yearling for $200,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale, Maracuja's record also includes a close second behind Search Results (Flatter) in the GIII Gazelle S. Apr. 3 at Aqueduct, as well as two seventh-place finishes in the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks Apr. 30 at Churchill Downs and the GI Alabama S. Aug. 21 at Saratoga. She's been working consistently at Oaklawn in preparation for her season debut, most recently going four-furlongs in :51 Mar. 27. Ricardo Santana Jr., aboard for her GI success last year, picks up the ride again for trainer Rob Atras and her connections at Beach Haven Thoroughbreds. Maracuja also regains Lasix for the first time in over a year. TJCIS PPs