Zanim Meahjohn’s Fortune Pearl won the $300,000 Grade II Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park today.
With Trevor McCarthy aboard, the Kentucky-bred trained by H. Graham Motion notched a 2-length score. It was the second career Delaware Oaks victory for H. Graham Motion, who won the race in 2000 with Sincerely. Sincerely was ridden by Trevor’s father, Michael McCarthy, a former six-time leading rider at Delaware Park (1996-2000 & 2002).
Fortune Pearl returned $7.80 as the second-choice in the field of eight. The 8-to-5 favorite, Joint Return, with Kendrick Carmouche, finished second. It was another 1 ½-lengths back to Aibhilin in third. The final time was 1:44.69 for the mile and a sixteenth over a fast main track. Honey’s Ryan, with Kerwin Clark, set early fractions of 47.85 for the half-mile and 1:12.10 for the three-quarters mile before fading to seventh.
Fortune Pearl was unhurried early and closed from seventh place after a half-mile. Her trainer H. Graham Motion did not really give jockey Trevor McCarthy a game plan before the race.
“I left that up to Trevor (McCarthy),” said trainer H. Graham Motion. “I was not really surprised she was far back early. We really did not have a game plan coming into the Oaks. She is a very straight forward filly to ride, so I really left it up to Trevor (McCarthy).”
After her third-place finish in the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico on May 16, Motion sent the daughter of Mineshaft to Delaware Park to prepare for this race.
“We kept her at Delaware Park because we knew we were going to run in this race,” Motion said. “We just felt like it was important for her to train over the track before this race.”
This was the first career stake victory for Fortune Pearl, who broke her won her first race in a $32,000 maiden claiming race at Tampa last year. Her career record is three wins from seven starts with earnings of $272,547.