The first of three Kentucky Oaks qualifiers at Oaklawn Park, Saturday’s $125,000 Martha Washington features a rematch between Sunset Wish and Taylor’s Spirit, the top two finishers from the January 4 Take Charge Brandi at Delta Downs. Maiden winners Marathon Queen and Power Gal are also among the field of seven three-year-old fillies.
The one-mile test will award a total of 17 points to the top four finishers (10-4-2-1) as part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series.
A Godolphin homebred daughter of Malibu Moon, Sunset Wish broke her maiden the third time out at Penn National and followed with a turf allowance win at Fair Grounds in early December. She shipped to Delta Downs for the January 4 Take Charge Brandi and rallied from just off the pace to post a 2 ¾-length score in the 7 ½-furlong event. Joe Bravo retakes the mount for Michael Stidham.
Taylor’s Wish dueled early as the even-money favorite in the Take Charge Brandi and wound up a clear second after being overhauled by Sunset Wish. Owned by Mark Norman and trained by Scott Gelner, the Algorithms filly rolled to 6 ¼-length wire-to-wire win in the My Trusty Cat at Delta two back and Taylor’s Wish captured stakes races at Louisiana Downs and Prairie Meadows as a juvenile. Kevin Roman picks up the mount.
Marathon Queen exits a sharp 2 ½-length debut performance at Fair Grounds for Steve Asmussen. By 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, the chestnut showed good speed and netted an 83 BRIS Speed rating that fits well in this spot. Ricardo Santana Jr. rides.
Power Gal broke her maiden two starts back, leading wire-to-wire on a soft pace, and switched tactics recording a rallying third versus allowance foes at Aqueduct last time. David Cohen takes over the reins for Mark Casse.
Completing the field are Arch Avenue, who exits an allowance win on Turfway Park’s Polytrack; Crafty’s Dream, who has also been competing at Turfway Park recording a 1-1-1 record in her last three starts; and last-out maiden claiming winner Sheza Handful.