Amy's Challenge Keeps Streak Alive in Dixie Belle

Novogratz Racing Stables' Amy's Challenge kept her winning streak alive when she battled down to the wire with Mia Mischief in the $125,000 Dixie Belle Stakes at Oaklawn Park Jan. 20. 

It was the second stakes win and third consecutive victory overall for the undefeated 3-year-old daughter of Artie Schiller, who is trained by McLean Robertson.

In the six-furlong Dixie Belle, Amy's Challenge hit the gate and bobbled at the start while favored Mia Mischief took the lead. With Jareth Loveberry up, Amy's Challenge stalked the pace set by Mia Mischief, as that rival took the field of six 3-year-old fillies through fractions of :21.48 and :44.49. 

"It looked like she bobbled a little the second jump, just kind of 'Oomph,' and then natural speed put her right there," Robertson said of his filly. "I thought Loveberry gave her a great ride. He waited right until the end. (Steve) Asmussen's filly (Mia Mischief) is awfully fast, but maybe at the end she was getting a little tired, too, so great ride."

Battling with Mia Mischief around the turn and into the stretch, Amy's Challenge got past her rival in the final strides to score by a neck at the wire. She completed the distance in a final time of 1:10.61. 

"She took a little bit of a bobble out of the gate, just a little slip. It actually made it better because she got to sit and relax off it just a little bit," Loveberry said.

"It was actually pretty good. I just sat off of it, kind of let the speed go with each other and sat right there. It kind of dictated where we wanted to be. She is all heart down the lane, that horse. Head to head, she dug through and finished strong."

Secret Passion held on for third, 2 1/2 lengths back. Getupbabygetup, Vision of Justice, and Thoughtless Doll completed the order of finish. 

Sent off as the second choice, Amy's Challenge returned $4.80, $2.60, and $2.20 across the board. 

Amy's Challenge earned both of her other wins at Canterbury Park. In her debut in August, she dusted a field of maidens going 5 1/2 furlongs by 16 1/2 lengths. She returned the next month in the six-furlong Shakopee Juvenile Stakes, where she turned back a challenge from stakes winner Mr. Jagermeister to score by three-quarters of a length over seven rivals including colts. 

Bred by Sierra Farm, Amy's Challenge is out of the winning Jump Start  mare Jump Up, who went undefeated in her three starts. The filly was a $20,000 purchase by her current owners from Paramount Sales' consignment to the 2016 Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale, and now has earnings of $136,800. 

Video: Dixie Belle S. (BT)