Princesa Carolina drives home to win Dueling Grounds Oaks

September 08, 2019 05:17pm
Princesa Carolina drives home to win Dueling Grounds Oaks
Photo: Grace Clark/Kentucky Downs

Princesa Carolina made a strong outside move down the stretch Sunday to claim her first stakes score in Kentucky Downs’ $350,000 Dueling Ground Oaks.

The daughter of Tapit entered Sunday’s 1 5/16-mile showcase for 3-year-old fillies off back-to-back second-place runs at Arlington Park. She was runner-up July 13 in Arlington’s Hatoof Stakes and second again Aug. 10 in the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes.

Princesa Carolina on Sunday enjoyed the services of star jockey Jose Ortiz and went off as the 4-5 favorite. Ortiz had the filly sitting near the back of the nine-horse field most of the way.

The field bunched up entering Kentucky Downs’ long stretch, with 6-1 shot Indigo Gin up front. Princesa Carolina found footing in the center of the track and tore home, “throwing down the gauntlet on them all,” in the words of track announcer Michael Wrona.

The Kenny McPeek trainee rolled on to a two-length score over Wildlife, with High Regard coming home third.

Three Chimneys Farm campaigns its homebred Princesa Carolina, who returned $3.60 and now sports an 11: 3-3-1 career record.

“We felt like this distance would do her good, too, the extra ground," McPeek said. "She’s got a big long hip on her, she’ll run all day. We’ve kind of been waiting for this race to some extent all summer and into the fall here. But a great run."

McPeek said he hopes for his new stakes winner to target the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) on Oct. 12 at Keeneland.


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