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Weemissfrankie Finishes Fast in Oak Leaf

Weemissfrankie and Rafael Bejarano win the Oak Leaf .Stakes(GI)at Santa Anita in Arcadia, CA. October 02, 2011

In Sunday's Grade 1 Oak Leaf at Santa Anita Park, Weemissfrankie ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.92 as jockey Rafael Bejarano mounted a torrid finish to overtake Candrea. Charm the Maker finished another half-length back in third. The winner paid $5.60, $3 and $2.40 as the 9-5 favorite. One of the 2-year-old filly's owners is MTV host Rob Dyrdek.

Candrea, who almost gave Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his eighth win in the race, returned $3.80 and $3.20. Charm the Maker, who unseated Garrett Gomez at the starting gate, paid $3.20 to show.

Oak Leaf winner Weemissfrankie is a New York-bred by Sunriver, who was named for the late Frank Alesia, an iconic figure in California racing who passed away earlier this year on Feb. 27.

Coming off an impressive score in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante at seven furlongs on Sept. 3, Weemissfrankie sat in mid-pack into and around the club house turn and remained covered up mid-way down the backstretch.

“She was kind of uncomfortable down in the stretch the first time, so I tried to keep her clear after the first turn and get her in good position,” said Bejarano. “When I got to the top of the stretch, I put her clear and, like always, she showed me a big kick in the stretch. I gave her a little push in the end and she showed me an unbelievable kick. My horse is going to improve a lot and she is only getting better. She will be tough in the Breeders’ Cup.”

Peter Eurton, who trains Weemissfrankie, said the chestnut filly almost certainly will be pointed toward the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. “The (Juvenile Fillies) Turf is something to think about,” he added. “It’s still a consideration, especially when you figure out who’s going and who’s not, but it’s probably going to be dirt. You have options. That’s the beauty part of it.”

With the Oak Leaf victory, Weemissfrankie extended her unbeaten record to three starts while increasing her earnings to $337,800.



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