The 3-year-old Awesome Again filly scored in her graded stakes debut for trainer Rafael Ramos, doing it at odds of 13-1. She completed the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.38.
Elusive Lady was second in a field of eight, four lengths in front of favorite My Baby Baby. Calico Bay was fourth.
Out of the A.P. Indy mare Trading, Awesome Chic entered the Florida Oaks off a third-place finish in the six-furlong OBS Sprint Stakes Feb. 11, when she rallied determinedly to miss by only a length. Prior to that she scored her first stakes win in her 3-year-old debut, taking the Jan. 19 Gasparilla by a half-length at Tampa Bay.
The Florida Oaks was Awesome Chic’s first try around two turns.
Dee’s Rose set the early pace under Daniel Centeno, racing the first quarter in :24.14. Elusive Lady was content to stalk in second, while My Baby Baby and Awesome Chic, content to save ground, were just a little further back. The order of the top four stayed the same in a :47.88 half-mile.
As she the rounded the far turn, Elusive Lady made her way past a tiring Dee’s Rose, while My Baby Baby was circling with a four-wide move into contention. But Awesome Chic took advantage of her rail-skimming trip, and used that path to hit the front as they came out of the turn.
Awesome Chic opened up by two lengths at the top of the stretch and continued to extend her advantage until she was comfortably in front at the sixteenth pole. She cruised to the wire much the best.
“I like the rail, and the filly – she’s good inside," Rosendo said. "We won inside one race, so I said yeah. We saved ground.”
Going off as the fifth betting choice, Awesome Chic paid $28.20, $9 and $5.60. The exacta (5-4) was worth $186.40, while the trifecta (5-4-6) returned $592.40.
Bred in Florida by Westbury Stables, Awesome Chic has hit the board in all five of her lifetime starts, winning three of them. She broke her maiden by 17 ½ lengths in her debut at Suffolk Downs Nov. 5.
The Florida Oaks victory will earn Awesome Chic a spot in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), May 2 at Churchill Downs.
“She has the class, and today she showed she’s a tough contender for the distance – a very tough contender," said owner Jose Acero." God will bless us, and we will be (at Churchill) on the second of May, the day my father passed away 30 years ago.”