Onus Kicks Away to Commonwealth Oaks Victory
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
Onus rolls home to win the Commonwealth Oaks.
Stuart Janney III's homebred Onus grabbed the lead near the three-sixteenths pole and powered away to an open lengths win the $150,000 Commonwealth Oaks (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies Sept. 26 at Laurel Park. Watch Video
 
The daughter of Blame  , ridden by Forest Boyce for trainer Shug McGaughey, rolled to a 4 1/2-length victory and covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.12. She scored a third straight win from six career starts while making her stakes debut. 
 
The- 2-1 second choice, Onus came in off an eye-widening 10 1/2-length turf allowance win, in which she lowered the Laurel turf course record for 1 1/16 miles to 1:39.26 Aug. 18. Prior to that, she broke her maiden by eight lengths there while making her fourth career start July 11.
 
Zvarkhova, the 8-5 favorite, was never in contention and finished eighth in the 11-horse field for the race, formerly run as the Virginia Oaks.
 
Onus returned $6.80, $4.60 and $3.80. Lola Beaux was up to take second and paid $7.20 and $4.40, while Stormy Regatta returned $3.80 to show.
 
After encountering some crowding after the break, Onus settled into a strong stalking position along the backstretch behind pacesetter Heart of Midway, who was chased by Gypsy Judy. The Kentucky-bred filly made a three-wide move on the turn and continued on to open up a clear lead and coast home.
 
"The last couple times I've been amazed how talented she is," Janney said. "A horse that can carry on so easily just off the pace and then quicken like she does is very tough to beat." 
 
From her sire's first crop, Kentucky-bred Onus is out of the Forestry mare Silviculture, who was unraced. The dam is a half sister to four graded stakes winners—Ironicus  , Norumbega  , Hunting, and Quiet Harbor—as well as stakes winner Seal Cove and graded stakes-placed Minister's Joy.
 
Janney said Onus is likely to be shipped to Payson Park with McGaughey's stable for the winter—although it is possible she could run again during the fall "if there's another race that fits her."
 
Rainha Da Bateria was fourth, followed by Heart of Midway, Red Sashay, Gypsy Judy, Zvarkhova, Todegica, Ortiga, and Miss Bullistic to complete the order of finish.

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