Street Story Best in Sloppy Oaklawn Opener

Street Story Best in Sloppy Oaklawn Opener
Photo: Coady Photography
Street Story and Ricardo Santana Jr. take the Dixie Belle Stakes on opening day at Oaklawn.

Whispering Oaks Farm's Street Story got the Oaklawn Park meet off to a fast start for 2013 leading jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. and trainer Steve Asmussen by winning the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes before a rain-drenched crowd of 15,031 Jan. 10 (VIDEO).

The Street Cry (Ire) filly, sent off the 5-2 second favorite in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies, survived an objection in the race to earn her first stakes victory.

In addition to Street Story, the other star of the day was jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr., who was a perfect 4-for-4 in his first day of riding at Oaklawn. Three of his winners came for trainer Cody Autrey and owner Steve Landers.

Street Story raced in the second flight early while Zip On led through an opening half-mile in :46.58 over a sloppy, sealed track. The winner began to make her move entering the turn and advanced in traffic while brushing with Denali Cat Tale when three or four paths wide rounding the bend. Street Story gained control from the fading Zip On near the furlong mark and inched clear under steady handling to win by one length over 23-1 shot Questlie.

Racing Holiday, a 40-1 chance whose rider Alex Canchari claimed foul against the winner for interference on the turn, finished third. The winning time was 1:14.25 for six furlongs over a sloppy track. More Than Beauty, the 2-1 favorite, finished eighth.

"There was a lot of speed in the race; I thought Ricardo did a really good job with her today," Asmussen said. "We were really fortunate with the draw. He took advantage of where she was at and she ran really well."

Street Story, bred in Kentucky by John Oxley out of the Tale of the Cat   mare Perfect Story, won for the second time in four starts and has now earned $98,350. She was coming off a runner-up finish in her stakes debut, the Letellier Memorial Dec. 21 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

The winner returned $7.20, $4.60 and $3.20, topping a $112.40 exacta with Questlie, who paid $11.60 and $6.20 with Luis Quinonez aboard. Racing Holiday paid $11.40 to show.
 

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