HOT SPRINGS — Ten Broeck Farm Inc.’s Kimari came flying home late and got up in the final strides to win Saturday’s $100,000 Purple Martin Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths over 7-5 favorite Frank’s Rockette.
Kimari raced in sixth early as Edgeway set the early pace through early fractions of :21 3/5 and :45 1/5 for the first half mile while being tracked closely by the favorite. Frank’s Rockette grabbed the lead at the top stretch, but could not hold off the winner, who rallied four wide under jockey Channing Hill. Kimari completed the six furlong race for 3-year-old fillies in 1:10 3/5 over a sloppy track.
“I’ll be honest with you, at the top of the lane, I wasn’t 100% sure how much horse I had, especially compared to how much (jockey Martin Garcia) had because Martin hadn’t gotten after her (Frank’s Rockette) yet,” Hill said. “Once I started reeling her in, and once my filly got to her, it was over from there. This filly has a lot of class. Obviously, she’s got a ton of talent, but she also has the class to match.”
Kimari, a Munnings filly, returned $7.80, $4.20 and $3.20 as the 5-2 second choice in the field of nine after the scratch of Flat Out Speed. The winner, who was making her first start since finishing fourth against males in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G2) last November, improved her record to four wins from six starts and has now earned $351,646.
“I was really, really super confident going into this race,” trainer Wesley Ward said via phone. “I’m kind of a positive guy, anyways, but after seeing those two works (in March at Gulfstream Park West), I knew it would take a really, really tough filly to beat her. Take nothing away from the others in there, but I was really confident. The owner (David Mowat’s Ten Broeck Farm) and Ben McElroy, who bought her and manages her, they were a little apprehensive when we drew the one hole because she always gets away just a little slow. I kind of laid it all out there and assured them, ‘Don’t worry about anything.’ I was a little nervous that I might have stuck my foot in my mouth, but thank God I didn’t.”
Live racing resumes today with a 1:30 p.m. first post. While no fans are permitted to experience racing onsite during this time, they can to watch and wager through OaklawnAnywhere.com or any ADW of their choice.