After seizing the lead early in the $125,000 Pippin Stakes Coffee Pot Stables' homebred Farrell withstood a challenge by Terra Promessa and then had to battle back late against Ever So Clever to eke out a win Jan. 13 at Oaklawn Park.
The Wayne Catalano-trained 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon managed to score by three-quarters of a length in the 1 1/16-mile test for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up.
"The goal is the Apple Blossom (April 13)," Catalano said. "We're trying to win a grade 1 with her. That's why we're running her here today. The Apple Blossom—a grade 1—that's what we're here for."
With jockey Channing Hill up, Farrell assumed the lead in the Pippin as Terra Promessa and Ricardo Santana Jr. pressed the pace from her outside in second. Farrell took the field through a half-mile in fractions of :23.32 and :46.94, with Terra Promessa a half-length off her. The two favorites separated themselves from the rest of the field by four lengths as six furlongs went in 1:12.
Exiting the turn for home, Hill let Farrell go forward in a drive toward the wire as Terra Promessa began to fade. Ever So Clever, 3 1/2 lengths back from Farrell in mid-stretch, unleashed a late rally wide in the stretch. However, her move was too late as Farrell hit the wire in a final time of 1:45.41.
"Just handicapping the race, I was kind of hoping we would draw outside Terra Promessa, just to kind of make it a little simpler," Hill said. "But the filly broke sharp today and put me on the pace. Her ears never came back until I asked her to run. That other filly (Ever So Clever), give her a lot of credit. She came charging at us and my filly kind of showed her class and just kind of stretched her legs out."
Streamline secured third, back another 2 3/4 lengths, with Impasse in fourth and Terra Promessa in fifth. Miner's Cat, Mo's M V P, and Bootsy's Girl completed the order of finish. The winner returned $6.20, $3.60, and $3.20 across the board.
Farrell closed out 2017 with a one-length win in the Nov. 4 Chilukki Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs. Before that, she finished off the board in both the Dogwood Stakes and the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) after reeling off four straight stakes victories, including the Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2).
Out of the grade 2-placed Unbridled's Song mare Rebridled Dreams, Farrell is a half sister to multiple grade 1 winner and WinStar Farm sire Carpe Diem , grade 1 winner J. B.'s Thunder, multiple group stakes-placed Doncaster Rover, and grade 2-placed Semper Fortis.
With seven wins from 11 starts, Farrell increased her earnings to $802,077 Saturday.