There’s little doubt about who is this year’s Queen of New Orleans. It’s Farrell.
The Malibu Moon filly easily won the $400,000 Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) April 1 to add to her Feb. 25 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) and Jan. 21 Silverbulletday Stakes victories at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
“She’s done everything we’ve asked her to do,” trainer Wayne Catalano said.
Regular rider Channing Hill was aboard in the Oaks for New Orleans native Catalano, and breeders Bob Cummings and Annette Bacola (Coffee Pot Stable). Farrell covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.67, winning by 3 1/4 lengths over 16-1 chance Wicked Lick. Vexatious came in third.
Only six went postward, as Majestic Quality and Summer Luck were scratched. After taking the Rachel Alexandra gate to wire, Farrell was forced to track the pace early in the Oaks while being asked to travel three wide on both turns. Daria's Angel took the early advantage and set an opening quarter in :24.09 and a half in :47.55 while tracked by Vexatious and Farrell.
Hill’s hands were still as Farrell made her way to the lead on the final turn, and as they straightened out in the lane, Hill was still tall in the saddle. He asked at the eighth pole and she was able to further separate herself from the pack. After a mile in 1:36.98, it only took Farrell :06.69 to hit the wire.
“She’s terrific,” Hill said. “She was so calm before the race and she proved today she can do just about anything.”
Farrell paid $2.80, $2.40, and $.210. Wicked Lick paid $6.20 and $280 and Vexatious paid $2.20.
Farrell was foaled and raised at Beau Lane’s Woodline Farm near Paris, Ky., and she is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Rebridled Dreams. She is a half sister to grade 1-winning WinStar Farm stallion Carpe Diem and the grade 1-winning J B’s Thunder.
Farrell closed out her 2-year-old campaign with a score in Churchill Downs’ Golden Rod Stakes (G2). She has a 5-0-1 mark from seven starts and has earned $601,357. The Fair Grounds Oaks victory placed her firmly atop the standings on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard, where she has 170 points.