Benefitting from a beautiful ride under Ramon Dominguez, Brereton Jones’ homebred Check the Label took over approaching the sixteenth pole and drew clear to win the $150,000 Virginia Oaks (gr. IIIT) by 2 3/4 lengths July 17 at Colonial Downs (VIDEO) .
It was the third consecutive graded win for the rapidly-improving 3-year-old daughter of Stormin Fever. Prior to the nine-furlong Virginia Oaks, the dark bay/brown filly scored the Appalachian (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland and Sands Point (gr. IIT) at Belmont. She is trained by Graham Motion.
Check the Label broke awkwardly and was forced to race at the back of the field of eight for more than a half mile. Kilmore Quay set the pace under Rajiv Maragh, carving out easy fractions of :25.64, :51.82, 1:16.18, and 1:39.98. Midway Holiday and In the Rough gave closest chase.
But it was Check the Label who was the top threat to the pacesetter, and once Dominguez passed rivals along the inside on the far turn she was in perfect position to run down Kilmore Quay. The 3-5 favorite split rivals near the hedge at the three-sixteenths pole and easily ran past the longtime leader in mid-stretch to win going away.
The final time on the firm turf course was 1:51.85. Kilmore Quay was 1 1/2 lengths better than third-place In the Rough.
Bred in Kentucky and out of the Mazel Trick mare Don’t Trick her, the winner improved to 5-2-1 from 12 starts with earnings of $341,227.
Check the Label paid $3.20, $2.40, and $2.10. The exacta (8-5) returned $25 and the trifecta (8-5-6) was $224.60.
Midway Holiday was fourth, followed by Martita Sangrita, Jungle Tale, Another Smokey, and Frances Gardner.