In the $100,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) (VIDEO) Aug. 18, Marietta rated well in the backstretch, angled to the outside and raced by a host of rivals in the final furlong to win for the third time in her last four efforts.
Going off as the 7-2 second choice, the 3-year-old daughter of Machiavellian, out of Minister Wife, had to fight off six rivals in a hotly contested stretch, eventually drawing clear to win by a length-and-three-quarters for jockey Mark Guidry. Her final time for the 1 1/8-mile was 1:49.39 on Polytrack.
Marietta paid $8.80, $4.80, $4.40.
Humble Janet, who was in last place entering the stretch, got up late for second . The exacta (5-3) paid $39.20. Marquee Delivery finished third.
The pace was set by Marquise through a pedestrian opening quarter of :25.34. Even-money favorite Mini Sermon sat just off the lead in second, while Aspiring was farther back in third. That’s the way it stayed through a half-mile, but by the time the field of seven reached the top of the lane, all contenders were bunched up within a half-length.
Most recently, Marietta had won the Iowa Oaks (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows June 29. There she also defeated Humble Janet by the same margin.
Owned and bred by Darley, Marietta has now won three of her eight lifetime races. She is trained by Eoin Harty.
"It was a bigger effort for her today (than in winning the Iowa Oaks in June)," said Harty. "I thought she was a little too far out of it going down the backside, especially after that opening quarter. Mark knew what he was doing and she made a big run.
"I don’t think she prefers one over the other (Polytrack vs. a conventional dirt surface). She was working real well at Saratoga and for a minute I contemplated running her in the Alabama but after seeing that race and the race here, I’m pretty glad I stayed here.”
Mini Sermon, who had won three straight coming in, finished a disappointing sixth.