Jockey Calvin Borel went against type and swung Seeking the Title to the outside in the stretch run of the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (gr. III) (VIDEO), but the move paid off when the daughter of Seeking the Gold went on to a half-length victory at Prairie Meadows June 26.
Borel, known as "Bo-Rail" for his tendency to find the shortest way home, said afterward, "It was kind of a bad move on my part, but it ended up being good."
The Iowa Oaks is the first of three graded stakes on the final night of the Iowa Racing Festival at Prairie Meadows.
Seeking the Title, fourth at the rail coming into the stretch, angled sharply off the rail to get outside of Harissa and All Due Respect and she eventually wore down Harissa in the final strides to win the 1 1/16-mile race at odds of 7-1. Harissa, ridden by Martin Garcia, was a clear second by five lengths, with the pacesetting All Due Respect settling for third. Quiet Temper, the 7-5 favorite in the field of six 3-year-old fillies finished fourth, followed by Remit and Shotgun Gulch.
The final time was 1:41.84 over fast going, one second off the track mark.
Seeking the Title, a Kentucky homebred owned by Charles Fipke, earned her first graded stakes win for trainer Dallas Stewart. Seeking the Title was coming off a couple of rough races. She dropped jockey Kent Desormeaux in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico May 14 and finishing a well-beaten sixth after an extremely wide effort with Desormeaux in the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 5. She won for the first time since breaking her maiden by 6 1/2 lengths in her second start Feb. 28 at Fair Grounds.
Borel rode the bay filly for the first time in the Iowa Oaks.
All Due Respect, ridden by Mike Smith, grabbed the early lead from Seeking the Title, who would fall into a stalking position fourth from the inside as All Due Respect led Harissa and Quiet Temper through solid fractions of :23.54, :46.84 and 1:10.84. All Due Respect enjoyed a two-length lead before Harissa began to cut into the advantage on the final turn. Seeking the Title also advanced on the turn, then altered course approaching mid-stretch as Harissa took over from All Due Respect. Harissa had a narrow edge over All Due Respect and Seeking the Title at the eighth pole but was outfought in the final strides by Seeking the Title.
Seeking the Title earned $120,000 for her second win in six starts, boosting her career total to $166,548. She carried 118 pounds, three fewer than Harissa, who captured the Sunland Park Oaks in March, and Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) winner Quiet Temper. The favorite faded this time to finish seven lengths behind the Seeking the Title.
The winner is bay filly out of the Monarchos mare Title Seeker.
She paid $17.40, $6.60 and $4 as the fourth choice of the public and topped a $72.40 exacta. Harissa returned $3.80 and $3.40. All Due Respect was $3 to show.
Tap Tap Tapping scratched.