Ridden by Edgar Prado, I Lost My Choo settled towards the back of the field of nine through the early stages of the nine-furlong event for 3-year-old fillies, got revved up rounding the final turn, and came four-wide into the stretch. The daughter of Western Expression made her presence inside the eighth-pole and finally passed Julia Tuttle in the final yards to win by 1 1/2 lengths. It was her first graded stakes triumph. The final time was 1:50.12 on a firm turf.
Namaste’s Wish and Kent Desormeaux rallied for second, a half-length in front of Julia Tuttle, who led by as many as 18 lengths around the turn and still led by 10 at the top of the lane under Horacio Karamanos.
Bred in New York and out of the Tom Rolfe mare Fairy Queen, I Lost My Choo entered the Virginia Oaks off a head victory in the June 28 Elmont Stakes. In that one, she also made a big late run in the stretch drive. The bay filly was third in the April 16 Appalachian Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland and the May 31 Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont. Overall, this was her fifth win in eight lifetime starts. She is trained by Philip Serpe.
For most of the Virginia Oaks it looked as if Julia Tuttle was out there by herself. The daughter of Giant's Causeway broke sharply and opened up a commanding lead that she kept extending. Julia Tuttle led by eight after a quarter mile in :24.45, by 12 after a half in :48.54, and by 15 after three-quarters in 1:12.71. Nijinsky Ballet, Three Graces, and Cherokee Queen were closest to the speedy filly.
Julia Tuttle showed her first signs of tiring at the three-sixteenths-pole, as the rest of the field began to close ground. Fourth at the top of the lane, I Lost My Choo was the one who had the best late kick.
The winner paid $6, $3.40 and $2.80 as the favorite. The exacta (10-7) returned $22.80, while the trifecta (10-7-2) netted $162.40 with 11-1 Julia Tuttle.
Nijisnky Ballet was fourth, followed by Athena’s Gift, Cherokee Queen, Born to Be, Clara’s Song, and Three Graces.