Photo: Oaklawn Park
If the today’s win by Peachtree
Stable’s Mamma Kimbo in the $300,000 Fantasy Stakes (G2) is any indication of
how trainer Bob Baffert’s Racing Festival of the South week is going to go then
every other trainer will be running for second-place. With stars like Plum
Pretty, Secret Circle and Bodemeister awaiting their chances, Mamma Kimbo
stamped her ticket for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) with a front-running stroll under
It was just the second career race
for the 3-year-old daughter of Discreet Cat and her first attempt around two
turns, but after a quick break from the gate and a slight pause around the
first bend in the 1 1/16th-mile contest, it was clear early there
would be no rookie mistakes. She cruised away from the dogged pursuit by Amie’s
Dini to score by 1 ¼-lengths in 1:43.64 and paid $4.80 as the 7/5 favorite.
“Bob (Baffert) really thought a lot
of this filly,” said Smith, who pushed his career win total to 5,001 after
hitting the milestone last Saturday in California. “He was very confident in
her. He said to just let her break and to stay out of her way. That’s all I had
Amie’s Dini, the heroine of the
Martha Washington Stakes in February, found herself runner-up for a third time
in a stakes this year at Oaklawn. She lost in January to then-undefeated Now I
Know, last month to top-rated On Fire Baby and today to Mamma Kimbo. Trainer
Ron Moquett was disappointed but proud and confident.
“I’ve got to say, we have finished
second to three of the nicest horses out there,” he said. “Not to take anything
away from any of them, but we showed she could run with all of them. They were
just a little bit better each time. I’m sure my filly’s got a race like that out
there for her.”
Baffert trained the third-place
finisher, Jemima’s Pearl and has now won the last four races he’s entered at
Oaklawn and pushed his career record here to 14-for-23. The Hall of Fame
trainer got a clean bill from his cardiologist earlier in the day back home in
California, two weeks removed from suffering a heart attack while in Dubai.
"That was good therapy for the
heart,” he said. “(Wife) Jill, (son) Bode, and I were having fish tacos
overlooking Del Mar watching the race. We were in heaven. This is a nice filly.
From her first start we gave her some time since the past race and she
delivered. You never know if they're going to hold on. Jill was rooting for her
and then all the sudden she goes 'Oh my God, here comes the five,' and I said,
'That's us too.'"
The Racing Festival of the South
continues Thursday with the $75,000 Carousel Stakes and the $100,000 Redbud
Stakes highlighting the card. First post is 1:30 p.m.
Winning jockey Mike Smith, Mamma
Kimbo – “Bob (Baffert) really thought a lot of this filly. He was very
confident in her. He said to just let her break and to stay out of her way.
That’s all I had to. She’s got some things to learn because she hasn’t run
much, but I knew she would have to break well, and sure enough she left in good
shape. I had to help her around the first turn a little bit, but then I got on
curse control and everything worked out well for us from there. ”
Winning trainer Bob Baffert, Mamma
Kimbo – "That was good therapy for the heart. Jill, Bode, and I were
having fish tacos overlooking Del Mar watching the race. We were in heaven.
This is a nice filly. From her first start we gave her some time since the past
race and she delivered. You never know if they're going to hold on. Jill was rooting
for her and then all the sudden she goes 'Oh my God, here comes the five,' and
I said, 'That's us too.'”
Winning assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes: "That was exactly what we wanted
for her. Cruised around there with her ears up. We weren't quite sure with just
one start but she looks like she's a good one and the good ones prevail."