Whimsy Wallops Cee's Irish in Iowa Oaks

Pin Oak Stable's Whimsy used a ground-saving trip to stay close to the leaders, then angled out at the head of the stretch before pulling away for a 2 3/4-length victory over prohibitive favorite Cee's Irish in Friday night's $122,500 Iowa Oaks (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows.

Whimsy, who debuted with a maiden win Jan. 29 at Sam Houston, recorded her first graded stakes victory as the 8-5 second choice in the field of five. Ridden by Carlos Marquez Jr., the daughter of Maria's Mon completed the 1 1/16-mile event for 3-year-old fillies in 1:43 3/5.

Marquez kept Whimsy, who broke from the rail, well within striking distance on the inside as pacesetter Mary Alex carved fractions of :24 1/5, :48 4/5 and 1:37. When the field reached the top of the far turn, Whimsy angled out three wide and rallied to the front in upper stretch. She soon cleared away while reaching the wire under urging.

Cee's Irish, who was sent off at at odds of 4-5, was coming off a third-place finish in the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) when she lost by 1 1/2 lengths. But she raced wide throughout for Corey Nakatani. After falling back on the far turn, she came on again under heavy urging in the stretch but eased up late while holding onto second by 2 1/4 lengths over Mary Alex.

Longshots Galactic Queen and Queansco trailed. She Sings scratched.

Michael Stidham trains Whimsy, who has won five of six races in her brief career with earnings of $171,772.

Stidham said Whimsy wasn't ready to compete as a 2-year-old so he sent her back to the farm.

"We hoped she would be able to fire back with the same kind of race she ran last time and she obviously did and she beat a pretty good filly, Cee's Irish, who is already graded stakes horse on the West Coast," he noted. "Other than her trainer, she should be undefeated. She's a good filly."

The bay filly paid $5.20, $2.60 and $2.20. Cee's Irish returned $2.20 and $2.20. Mary Alex paid $2.20.

(Chart, Equibase)