Sassy Sienna Gives Cox Another Oaks Contender With Fantasy Victory

The bridesmaid became the bride Friday when Medallion Racing and Jerry McClanahan’s Sassy Sienna got up late to win the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) after a second and third in the earlier prep races this season at Oaklawn.

“She’s a tough filly,” trainer Brad Cox said. “She’s shown us a lot from the get go. On to the (Kentucky) Oaks.”

Sassy Sienna, a Midshipman filly, improved her record to 3-2-2 from nine career starts and has now earned $394,600. Her 100 points earned from the Fantasy victory now ranks her third on the Kentucky Oaks leader board and assures her a spot in the 14-horse field May 2. Runner-up Wonder Gadot now has 84 points and sits eighth on the list, while third-place finisher Amy’s Challenge is 13th with 40 points.

The Fantasy winner was forwardly placed from the break and tracked Amy’s Challenge in second through early fractions of :22.87 and :45.88 for the first half mile. She dropped back to third at the top of the stretch, but rallied late between horses to edge Wonder Gadot by a nose. She completed the 1 1/16 mile race in 1:45.63 over a fast, but wet track.

Sassy Sienna returned $25, $8.20 and $4.20 at odds of 11-1. She had been dismissed after finishing second in the Martha Washington Stakes and Honeybee Stakes (G3).

Live resumes tomorrow for the final day of the 2018 season. The 12-race card begins at 12:30 p.m. and features four stakes highlighted by the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1).

Winning trainer Brad Cox (Sassy Sienna) – “She’s a tough filly. She’s shown us a lot from the get go. On to the (Kentucky) Oaks.”

Winning Jockey Gary Stevens (Sassy Sienna) – “It was an awesome, awesome trip. I didn’t use her much away from the gate last time. I shuffle back and it kind of back fired on me. She was super sharp and the crew had her ready. She left there running and sat a good trip in second and she just kept grinding it out. Beautiful filly. I told those guys I was wishing today was a mile and an eighth and that’s a good thing because she will get the mile and an eighth for the Oaks. She is springing forward at the right time.

Jockey David Cabrera (Wonder Gadot) – “The filly ran it really good. She relaxed really good. She fought all the way. I thought for a little bit that we were the winner, but that other horse just kept on kicking.”

Jockey Mike Smith (Amy’s Challenge, third as the favorite) – “I just couldn’t get her to turn off. When the track is sealed like that, it can really make a lot of noise and she just kept running from it. I tried to slow her down and it made it worse. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. She just didn’t get into a rhythm.”

The post Sassy Sienna Gives Cox Another Oaks Contender With Fantasy Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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