Fast-improving Little Miss Holly swept past Find the Humor in the stretch and held sway for a two-length victory in the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (gr. III) on the night of June 25 at Prairie Meadows (VIDEO).
The 1 1/16-mile Oaks was the first of three grade III stakes on the final night of the Iowa Festival of Racing. This was the first stakes win for the stalking Little Miss Holly.
Little Miss Holly got a ground-saving trip from Corey Lanerie before splitting rivals on the far turn. She raillied in the stretch to handily defeat the closing Hearts On Fire. Find the Humor finished third. Daisy Devine, the 1-2 choice, gave way on the final turn and faded to fifth in the field of six 3-year-old fillies.
The final time for the 1 1/16-mile test was 1:43.66 on a fast track.
Little Miss Holly, a daughter of Maria's Mon--Common Hope (by Storm Cat), is trained by Steve Margolis for owner Gold Square. Pam and Martin Wygod bred the chestnut filly, a $115,000 yearling buy at Keeneland in September 2009, in Kentucky.
Find the Humor, ridden by David Mello, took the early lead on the outside of Versailles Song and led that one through fractions of :23.36, :47.10 and 1:11.41. Little Miss Holly, never far back along the rail, raced in fourth before advancing on the final turn. Little Miss Holly took over in the lane and was in control as Hearts On Fire, ridden by Alex Birzer, swept past Find the Humor for second. It was two lengths to Find the Humor, who was followed by All About Allie, Daisy Devine and Versailles Song.
Little Miss Holly ran ninth, 21 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Daisy Devine, in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 26. She bounced back to win an off-the-turf first-level allowance race over 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs May 19. Her win in the Iowa Oaks, worth $90,000, improved her career mark to 3-2-3 in 11 races. She has banked $184,430.
She carried 115 pounds, six fewer than the top-weighted Daisy Devine, and paid $8.80, $4 and $2.80 as the second choice. Hearts On Fire returned $5 and $3.20 and completed a $26.60 exacta. Find the Humor was $5 to show.