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Amie's Dini breezes easy half for Fantasy
Martha Washington Stakes winner Amie's Dini posted her first workout at Oaklawn since her game runner-up performance in the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes on March 10 with an easy breeze Sunday.
Under jockey Jon Court, the daughter of Bandini was clocked going a half-mile in "49 3/5 for trainer Ron Moquett and owners Mike Walker and Lou Sutterfield.
"She's a happy girl right now," Moquett said. "This was just to let her know she's going in the right direction."
That direction is pointing toward a rematch with fellow top three-year-old filly On Fire Baby, which could come in the Grade 2, $300,000 Fantasy Stakes on April 11 at the start of Oaklawn's Racing Festival of the South. After winning the Martha Washington, Amie's Dini gave her rival a tougher-than-expected test in the Honeybee, and Moquett has been pleased with how his charge has progressed through the winter.
"She thinks she has to go out there and give everything she has in her races and her training," Moquett remarked. "I asked Jon to go in about 50 seconds, so he did a pretty good job of holding her back."
For his part, Court was worried he missed the mark by coming in under Moquett's request.
"She was going so easily and I thought we were going slower, but she just has so much talent, and there's no sense getting in a wrestling match out there," the rider said. "I felt bad coming back until I spoke to Ron and he told me everything was perfect. She was relaxed, ears pricked and nice and easy."
In addition to Amie's Dini, Moquett worked Truman's Commander five furlongs in 1:01 1/5. Off since finishing 13th in last year's Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, the son of Friends Lake has now breezed twice at Oaklawn since shifting from trainer Nick Zito in South Florida to Moquett three weeks ago for owner Harry Rosenblum.
Frank Fletcher's Grade 3-scoring filly Rocket Twentyone also worked Sunday at Oaklawn Park, posting a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 to add a factor to the decision-making process for her connections as they mull her next start.
Winner of the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie last year and third in the Dixie Belle Stakes at the start of the Oaklawn season, Rocket Twentyone is trying to bounce back from a well-beaten last of eight run in the Honeybee. She drilled Sunday's move under Hall of Fame nominee Calvin Borel.
"We're very happy with the way she worked," said Kathy Moore-Howard, racing manager for Fletcher and wife of trainer Tom Howard. "Calvin thought she went pretty easy, but I guess it ended up being really fast."
The three-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie will be nominated to the $75,000 Prima Donna Stakes at six furlongs on April 6, though with a two-for-five record she would be eligible for some allowance races if enough competition could be found to fill a field.
Howard indicated Rocket Twentyone would work again next week before a final decision is made.