- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Weemissfrankie just gets up to take Oak Leaf
Weemissfrankie continued the fairytale ride for her connections on Sunday when gutting out a half-length victory in the Grade 1, $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Campaigned by Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stables, Ciaglia Racing, Rob Dyrdek and Nick Cosato, the juvenile miss was named after Sharon's late husband, Frank Alesia, the entertainment personality and longtime horse owner.
The equine Frankie tracked well back of the early action in Sunday's contest as Self Preservation set the pace through splits of :22 4/5, :46 3/5 and 1:10 4/5. Candrea was pressing the front runner the entire way, while Silent Saga and Charm the Maker ran in tandem just in behind.
As the field hit the stretch, jockey Rafael Bejarano gave Weemissfrankie her cue and the daughter of Sunriver took off. Candrea had taken over by this point with Charm the Maker doing her best to run down the new leader. Those two stubbornly refused to yield, but Weemissfrankie was relentless in the middle of the track, just getting up in the shadow of the wire to stop the clock in 1:42 4/5 for 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack.
Candrea held second by a half-length margin over Charm the Maker, with My Gi Gi finishing out the top four another 3 1/4 lengths back. Self Preservation followed in fourth, with Regal Betty, Wild Truffles and Silent Saga completing the order under the wire. Killer Graces and Dreamcaster were both scratched.
Sent off the 9-5 favorite, Weemissfrankie paid $5.60, $3 and $2.40. The Peter Eurton trainee moved her record to a perfect three-for-three with this win, having broken her maiden at Del Mar on July 20 before taking the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante last out. She's now banked $337,800.
Bred in New York by Hidden Point Farm, Weemissfrankie has passed through the sales ring twice, bringing $40,000 as an OBS August yearling and $175,000 as an OBS April two-year-old. The chestnut filly is out of the unraced Meadowlake mare Starinthemeadow, who is half-sister to the dam of Grade 1 victress Stormy Pick.