A stretch-out around two turns proved beneficial to the Japanese-bred Power Gal, who caught dueling leaders Marathon Queen and Taylor’s Spirit late in the $125,000 Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.
A Road to the Kentucky Oaks series race, Power Gal earned 10 qualifying points for the Oaks by winning the Martha Washington. Marathon Queen earned four points for second, Taylor’s Spirit two points for third, and 8-5 favorite Sunset Wish one point for fourth.
A daughter of 2003 Belmont S. (G1) winner Empire Maker, Power Gal had not run farther than 6 1/2 furlongs prior to Saturday. Third in her debut at Keeneland going 4 1/2 furlongs last April, she captured a 6 1/2-furlong maiden at Aqueduct in her return on November 3, and last time had rallied for third in an Aqueduct allowance going six furlongs in late December.
In the one-mile Martha Washington, Power Gal tracked in fourth less than two lengths behind Marathon Queen and Taylor’s Spirit, who traded leads through the opening half-mile and were joined into the far turn by Sheza Handfull, who launched a three-wide bid. However, the latter proved not to have staying power
Launching a four-wide bid at the quarter pole, Power Gal wore down the pacesetters late to win by a half-length under David Cohen in a time of 1:39.82 over a fast track. She paid $8.40 as the 3-1 third choice in a field of seven. Marathon Queen edged Taylor’s Spirit by a neck for second.
Owned by Gary Barber and trained by Mark Casse, Power Gal has now earned $126,370. Bred by Paca Paca Farm, she was produced by the Grade 1-placed Nan, by High Yield. Also hailing from this family is Grade 1 turf performer Gabriel Charles.