Nickname captured last year’s Frizette S. (G1) and concluded her juvenile season with a fourth-place run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
That was more than enough for the Scat Daddy filly to be sent off the 1-2 favorite in her sophomore bow on Saturday in the $100,000 Martha Washington S. And for a time it appeared Nickname would live up to those odds.
Instead, Rags Racing Stable’s Marquee Miss provided a nice little upset when running down Nickname to score by a half-length on the wire as the 12-1 fifth choice in the seven-filly field.
Durango set the pace in the Martha Washington, establishing splits of :23.64, :47.12 and 1:12.19 all the while tracked by Marquee Miss on the outside. Meanwhile, Nickname was biding her time in midpack before beginning her move rounding the turn.
Nickname moved up to wrest control away from Durango in the lane, but Marquee Miss continued motoring on the outside. The Ingrid Mason trainee ran down Nickname to stop the clock in 1:39.18 for a mile on the fast main track at Oaklawn Park.
The Martha Washington is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races and was worth 10-4-2-1 points to the respective top four. Marquee Miss joined the Kentucky Oaks (G1) leaderboard with those 10 points while Nickname moved up one spot to be third on the list after her four points bumped her total to 16.
Doradansa came running to deny Durango, and both fillies made their leaderboard debuts with two points and one point, respectively.
Marquee Miss is now 6-3-0-0, $164,925, in her career, with all three wins coming in stakes. The daughter of Cowboy Cal made her racing bow in the Arlington-Washington Lassie last August and prevailed that day by three lengths. She would not find the top three again in 2015 but returned to her winning ways while making her sophomore bow on January 15 in the Dixie Belle S. at Oaklawn.