Marquee Miss nips Nickname in Martha Washington

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Jen Caldwell

February 7th, 2016

Rags Racing Stable’s Marquee Miss got up to deny 1-2 favorite Nickname by a half-length in Saturday’s $100,000 Martha Washington S. at Oaklawn Park.

Nickname captured the Frizette S. (G1) last year and closed out 2015 with a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). That was enough for the betting public to send the dark bay lass off as the heavy favorite for her sophomore bow in the Martha Washington.

Nickname settled in midpack as Durango led the way through splits of :23.64, :47.12 and 1:12.19. Marquee Miss wasn’t far back of the front runner, biding her time just outside about three wide of that one.

Durango put in a game effort for the win but began fading upon hitting seven furlongs in 1:25.95. Nickname, who made her move on the turn, and Marquee Miss pounced on the lead, with the latter filly proving best under the wire while completing a mile on the fast main track in 1:39.18.

Marquee Miss was sent off the 12-1 fifth choice in the seven-filly field and returned $26.20 under jockey Channing Hill. Nickname was best of the rest, 1 1/2 lengths up on Dorodansa in third. Duranga faded to be fourth.

The Martha Washington is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races, and Marquee Miss debuted on the Kentucky Oaks (G1) leaderboard with 10 points, thanks to this victory. Nickname moved up to be third on the list after adding four points to her previous total, while both Dorodansa and Duranga joined Marquee Miss in making a first appearance on the leaderboard with two points and one point, respectively.

Marquee Miss is no stranger to the Oaklawn Park winner’s circle, having already captured her sophomore bow in the January 15 Dixie Belle S. over the track. The Ingrid Mason trainee actually made her career debut against stakes company last year in the Arlington-Washington Lassie and prevailed by three lengths that day.

Marquee Miss improved her record to read 6-3-0-0, $164,925, with the Martha Washington victory. Bred in Kentucky by David Jacobs, the Cowboy Cal filly sold twice at auction. She brought $19,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall yearling and then was purchased by her current connections for $20,000 as an OBS June two-year-old.

Marquee Miss is the first registered stakes winner out of the multiple Grade 3-placed Marquetry mare Marquee Delivery.

In other Kentucky Oaks news on Saturday, Kiss N Scat captured the $50,870 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields by 1 3/4 lengths over My Dynamo. The Scat Daddy filly ran 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic Tapeta in 1:44.14 under jockey Ricardo Gonzalez.

Trained and co-owned by Jerry Hollendorfer, Kiss N Scat won the California Oaks not long after stablemate Songbird continued her undefeated championship run in the Las Virgenes S. (G2). While the California Oaks is not part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series, there were a number of fillies in the contest who might move up to points races in their next starts.

Kiss N Scat may or may not be one of them but even-money favorite Code Warrior, who finished fourth, could return to graded competition next out.

Marquee Miss photo courtesy of Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
Kiss N Scat photo courtesy of Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography