Coffepot Stables’ homebred Farrell officially claimed her position as the filly to beat to beat in the Kentucky Oaks with her impressive 3 ¼-length score in the $388,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) over the Louisiana oval’s fast main track on Saturday. The daughter of Malibu Moon is trained by Wayne Catalano and was ridden to victory by his son-in-law, Channing Hill.
As the 2-5 favorite in the field of six, Farrell was good for $2.80, $2.40 and $2.20. Longshot Wicked Luck paid $6.20 and $2.80, capping off a $16 exacta, while 7-2 chance Vexatious paid $2.20. The trifecta paid $19.20.
Of the $99,709 bet to show on the race, $80,270 was bet on Farrell.
Daria’s Angel, Corporate Queen and Queen Bernardina completed the order of finish after Majestic Quality and Summer Luck were withdrawn.
From the gate, Daria’s Angel set sail for the lead and with Vexatious stalking to her outside and Farrell even father out, pressing the pace in third through three-quarters of a mile in splits of :24.09, :47.55 and 1:12.09.
As the leader rounded the final turn and began to fade, Farrell was asked for her best run and, while widest of all, made the lead at the head of the stretch.
With Hill never moving an inch or raising his hands, Farrell began to draw away down the lane with every stride and, after logging a mile in 1:36.98, the rider finally started to move, perhaps to keep his mount’s mind on business. And despite switching to her left lead in deep stretch, Farrell continued on willingly to win, stopping the clock in 1:43.67.
Farrell is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Rebridled Dreams and is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and WinStar Farm stallion Carpe Diem and fellow Grade 1 winner J B’s Thunder. She picked up $240,000 for her latest graded stakes score, bringing her bankroll to $601,357 and her career line now reads 7-5-0-1. She also won the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (GII) and Silverbulletday Stakes earlier this year, as well as last year’s Golden Rod Stakes (GII) at Churchill Downs.
“She’s done everything we’ve asked her to do,” Catalano said.