Red Ruby entered the Kentucky Oaks (G1) picture Saturday, wearing down long-time leader Sassy Sienna in the short stretch and posting a 2 1/2-length victory in the $122,500 Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park.
Owned by Sandra Sexton and Brandi Nicholson, the gray splashed to win over a sloppy track in a time of 1:39.67 for one mile. She paid $7.
Sassy Sienna, who set a comfortable pace of :23.77, :47.87, and 1:12.63, was second best, 4 1/4 lengths clear of Cosmic Burst. It was a long way back to 2-1 favorite Tyfosha and the trailing Secret Passion.
As part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series, the Martha Washington awarded Oaks qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 to the top four finishers, none of whom had earned points prior to Saturday.
"She's trained on an off track here in the last month and she handled that beautifully, so I wasn't concerned at all," trainer Kellyn Gorder said. "It (Martha Washington) was our plan all along. We had an option to go in an allowance race earlier in the meet and she was training too well, so I decided, ‘Let's go to the stake.'"
Red Ruby made two starts at Churchill Downs last fall, finishing second in her October 29 debut at one, and then graduating by 3 1/2 lengths going 1 1/16 miles on November 25. She's now earned $123,000. The $200,000 Honeybee (G3) at Oaklawn on March 10 is likely her next stop.
Bred in by Kentucky by Sandra Sexton, Hargus Sexton, and Silver Fern Farm,
Red Ruby is a Tiznow half-sister to Grade 3 winner Mo Tom, multiple Grade
1-placed stakes winner Beautician, and stakes scorer Bella Castani. All were
produced by Caroni, by Rubiano.