Tequilita Stalks and Pounces to Win Charles Town Oaks

Dorothy Matz's homebred Tequilita took a significant step down in class and took advantage Sept. 23 in the $300,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3).

The Union Rags  filly, who competed in grade 1 company in her last two starts, made a winning move in the final turn under jockey Luis Saez to win the seven-furlong stakes by a 1 1/4 lengths.

Tequilita settled into a stalking fifth entering the first turn of the two-turn test, rallied past 6-5 favorite Shimmering Aspen in the final bend, and blew by 75-1 longshot Yorkiepoo Princess as the field turned for home.

She didn't pull away in the stretch, however, and Yorkiepoo Princess dug in gamely to hold second, ahead of inside closer Overture.

"She's a really special filly," Dorothy Matz said of the Michael Matz-trained filly. "She always tries and I can never believe it when your good luck continues in racing."

Astrolllinthepark set the early pace and had a one-length lead through a quarter-mile in :22.84, but Yorkiepoo Princess and jockey Edwin Gonzalez made a bold move in the backstretch and put a head in front through a half-mile in :46.65. Tequilita took over through six furlongs in 1:12.57 and finished off the seven furlongs in 1:26.01.

Chanel's Legacy, a 34-1 longshot, had trouble leaving the gate, was eased soon after the start by jockey Jose Montano, and was vanned off.

Bred in Kentucky, out of the grade 2-winning Mr. Greeley mare Sangrita, Tequilita now has $523,140 and a 4-3-1 record from 10 starts. The Charles Town Oaks was her second graded win, following the Feb. 4 Forward Gal Stakes (G2). She also placed in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and Longines Test Stakes (G1) this year.

"Her mother was one of my very favorite horses, so it's really exciting," Dorothy Matz said of Sangrita, another homebred who won the 2006 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs. "I think she's more like her mother—best at seven-eighths to a mile. And I think at a mile and a sixteenth, against the right company, she's OK, but we want to run her where she is comfortable.

Berned closed from ninth to finish fourth, and was followed by Astrollinthepark, Shimmering Aspen, Munny Spunt, R Angel Katelyn, and Downtown Mama to complete the order of finish.