The grit of a two determined fillies turned the $100,000 Fathead
Bourbonette Oaks (G3) into a heart-stopper Saturday at Turfway Park,
digging hard to catch Marathon Lady by the barest nose at
the wire and join the ranks of graded stakes winners.
John Velazquez aboard, Silsita raced in second through six of the eight
furlongs of the Bourbonette, tracking first Martha's Moon and then
Marathon Lady. The stretch run came down to a lady fight between
Silsita on the outside and Marathon Lady on the inside, both digging
hard, each taking the lead, each being headed, and each battling back.
It took a photo to prove that Silsita had battled a nose harder.
third, three lengths behind Marathon Lady, came the 4-5 favorite Pure
Fun, a Grade 1 winner who was making her first start since Dec. 8.
fractions of :24.09 and :47.56 by Martha's Moon and Marathon Lady's
six-furlong time of 1:12.08, Silsita finished the one-mile Fathead
Bourbonette Oaks in 1:38.27.
"It's very exciting to see this
filly jump up and win like this," said Ginny DePasquale, long time
assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. "It seemed like a good spot and
Todd felt she was improving over a period of time in Florida. So we
thought we'd take a shot and obviously it worked out quite well."
Fathead Bourbonette Oaks offers 50 Kentucky Oaks (G1) qualifying points
to the winner. Whether Silsita aims for that race is a decision
Pletcher will make with the filly's owners, Eclipse Thoroughbred
Partners and Tanourin Stable. "Whatever they have in mind,” said
DePasquale, "I'm sure they're going to make the right decision for her."
Ken McPeek was not disappointed with the effort by Pure Fun, who earned
10 points toward the Kentucky Oaks. "It looked like she was fighting
the track a little the last quarter of a mile. It's her first start of
the year and we thought she had a chance to get beat today. But she's a
good filly and it's a step in the right direction."
Fun came Broken Spell, Miss Squeal, Street of Gold, Anahauc, Awesome
Mama, Always Kitten, Le Fascinator, Corporate Culture, and Martha's
Sent off at 9-1, Silsita paid $20.40, $9.20, and $4.20.
dark gray filly by Macho Uno out of Naturally Wild, by Wild Again,
Silsita was bred in Florida by co-owner Tanourin Stable. She now has
two wins and a third in four career starts, three coming since January,
and has earned $84,725.