Six weeks after posting a maiden win at Fair Grounds in her fourth career start, Will’s Secret put herself into Kentucky Oaks (G1) consideration on Saturday with a romping victory in the $200,000 Martha Washington S. at Oaklawn Park
Alternately fourth and fifth down the backside, Will’s Secret made a bold four-wide bid around the far turn, took over at the quarter pole, and galloped out impressively through the short stretch to win by 5 1/4 lengths under Jon Court in a time of 1:38.78 for one mile over a muddy track.
“She broke good and I know speed’s been pretty tough today for the majority of the races, so after analyzing the race we chose a strategy that worked out pretty effectively,” Court said.
A homebred racing for Willis Horton and trained by Dallas Stewart, Will’s Secret paid $18. The even-money favorite Coach caught Joy’s Rocket for second by a half-length. Pacesetter Sylvia Q won a photo for fourth over Lady Lilly and Novel Squall.
As part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series, the Martha Washington awarded the top four finishers respective qualifying points of 10-4-2-1. Will’s Coach earned her first 10 points, while Coach earned four points to boost her total to six. Joy’s Rocket earned two points to increase her total to three, while Sylvia Q earned one point.
Third in two of her first three starts, Will’s Secret finally broke through in a Dec. 20 maiden at Fair Grounds by 2 3/4 lengths, a 1 1/16-mile event originally scheduled for the turf. Her record now stands at 5-2-0-2, $163,300.
Bred in Kentucky, Will’s Secret is by Horton’s 2013 three-year-old male champion, Will Take Charge, and out of Girls Secret, a daughter of Giant’s Causeway and the Grade 2-winning Well Monied.
American Beauty S.
Frank’s Rockette, one of the leading three-year-old filly sprinters in the country last season, got her four-year-old campaign off on the right footing when registering a 1 1/4-length victory over pacesetter Amy’s Challenge in the $150,000 American Beauty S.
Raced by owner-breeder Frank Fletcher and trained by Bill Mott, Frank’s Rockette covered six furlongs in 1:10.03 and paid $3.20.
Multiple Grade 1-placed two and victorious last season in four stakes, including the Gallant Bloom H. (G2), Prioress (G2), and Victory Ride (G3), Frank’s Rockette was rebounding from an 11th-place finish against males in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). The daughter of Into Mischief has now won seven of 12 starts with earnings of $696,103.