Maiden Island Fashion Wins WinStar Oaks

Everest Stables' homebred Island Fashion picked a nice spot to break her maiden Saturday, winning the inaugural $250,000 WinStar Sunland Park Oaks in New Mexico with a powerful stretch run.

The grey Petionville filly, ridden by Iggy Puglisi in his first appearance at Sunland, swung four wide on the turn while rallying from seventh in the field of nine 3-year-olds and blew past pacesetting Ela Ela to score a two-length victory in a one-mile time of 1:36 1/5. Isit Still Legal, at 43-1 was three lengths farther back in third.

Island Fashion broke slowly and was allowed to settle near the rear, well off of the pace of Ela Ela, who went immediately to the lead while carving fractions of :22 3/5, :45 4/5 and 1:10 1/5 and maintaining a two or three length advantage. She tired in the stretch, however, and nearly went into the rail when hit with a right-handed whip by jockey Jorge Bourdieu. She could not hold off Island Fashion, who also drifted in while passing the leader.

Trained by Nick Canani, Island Fashion was second by a nose after leading nearly gate to wire in a maiden race at Santa Anita on March 5, her last race. She was making her third career start Saturday.

Even-money favorite Souris, ridden by Corie Lanerie for trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Nelson Bunker Hunt, was never able to muster a rally after reaching contention and finished fifth.

Island Fashion picked up a winner's check of $153,870 for her connections.

The fourth choice at 5-1 in the nine-horse field, she paid $12, $6.40 and $5.80. Ela Ela, another Southern California shipper, returned $7 and $4.80. The show price for Isit Still Legal was $10.40.

(Chart, Equibase)