The days of Chanel's Legacy being overlooked against stakes company may be coming to an end.
The gray or roan daughter of Dominus kept race favorite Perfect Wife in her sights through the $125,000 Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park before delivering a knock-out blow around the final turn en route to taking the one-mile test by 2 1/2 lengths over My Sweet Stella at odds of 13-1.
Chanel's Legacy was sent off at double-digit odds despite coming into the Martha Washington off another 2 1/2 length win— also over My Sweet Stella—in her seasonal debut in the Jan. 21 Dixie Belle Stakes at the Hot Springs, Ark., track. The Lynn Chleborad-trained 3-year-old filly duplicated that outing Saturday, rating just off the hip of Perfect Wife through fractions of :23.51 and :46.90 before advancing to that one's neck approaching the final turn.
Perfect Wife gave it up under that heat, while Chanel's Legacy took control of the eight-horse field coming into the head of the lane. My Sweet Stella gamely ran on after taking up sharply trying to advance between horses on the turn, while Chanel's Legacy was well in control as she notched her fourth win from seven starts.
"It's very good, because she is ratable," Chleborad said. "And they did go pretty quick fractions when they go :23 2/5 and :46 4/5. That's not exactly walking the dog, you know. I think that's kind of fast. I'm like, 'Oh, I hope she has enough to finish.' She just kept going.
"She trains like that in the morning. She was ready for this race, and I feel we had her as good as we could get her. She showed that she can do that."
Owned and bred by Poindexter Thoroughbreds, Chanel's Legacy earned 10 points toward eligibility in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), which is limited to 14 starters. Both Chleborad and owner Allen Poindexter said that Chanel's Legacy would likely make her next start in the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 11, a final prep before the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 14.
"She ran huge," said winning jockey Alex Birzer. "She put me in a great spot. She just sat there as the leader weakened. She just picked it up an extra notch and just kept at her business."
The final time for the eight furlongs was 1:38.51.
My Sweet Stella finished 3 3/4 lengths in front of Torrent in third. Lovely Bernadette finished fourth with Ever So Clever rounding out the top five. Benner Island, Queen Bernardina, and Perfect Wife completed the order of finish.
Out of the Value Plus mare Chanel Number Mine, Chanel's Legacy improved her earnings to $234,394.