Coming off a pair of disappointing finishes in grade II tests, Maren’s Meadow was sent off as the fourth choice in the Oaks. But under an aggressive ride from Terry Thompson, the daughter of Meadowlake broke sharply from post seven and never looked back. She stopped the clock in 1:44.05 for 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track.
Acoma finished second under Elvis Trujillo, four lengths in front of Whirlie Bertie and Calvin Borel. African Violet, who went off as the co-favorite, finished fourth.
Trained by Larry Jones, Maren’s Meadow earned her lone graded stakes victory June 22 in the Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III), going a mile on the Turfway Park Polytrack. Since then, she was seventh in the Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) and fourth in the July 12 Delaware Oaks (gr. II), where she was beaten by Proud Spell and African Violet. Now 4-2-1 from 11 lifetime starts, this was her first victory going two turns.
Maren’s Meadow’s fractions were brisk in the Oaks, as she clicked off fractions of :23.51, :46.77, and 1:11.71 for six furlongs. There wasn’t much change through the backstretch, as Whirlie Bertie chased in second, and African Violet and Acoma were in the next group. Philly Gal was always last.
Maren’s Meadow had just a 1 1/2-length advantage of over Whirlie Bertie and African Violet after three-quarters, and as they rounded the far turn it seemed to be anyone’s race. But Thompson asked for more at the quarter-pole and Maren's Meadow responded. The bay filly opened up by five lengths at the furlong marker and was never threatened in the stretch.
The winner paid $24.20, $7.80, and $5.60. The exacta (7-4) was worth $81.80, while the $1 trifecta (7-4-1) returned $118.70.
Bred in Canada by Josham Farms Limited and out of the Yukon mare Gold Liaka, Maren’s Meadow has earned $297,225.
Open Skies and Populist were scratched.