Saturday, March 28, 2009

Justwhistledixie Romps in Bonnie Miss Friday

West Point Thoroughbreds and partners’ 3-year-old filly Justwhistledixie confirmed her status as one of the favorites for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs when she rallied down the stretch to capture the $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park Friday by 1¾ lengths over Edward P. Evans’ Casanova Move.

Jockey Julien Leparoux rode 3-5 favorite Justwhistledixie with complete confidence, rating comfortably in fourth down the backstretch of the 1 1/8 miles test before circling rivals on the far turn and drawing clear with authority as she scored her fifth straight victory for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

A daughter of Dixie Union, Justwhistledixie was a $425,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase who had won two stakes in New York and the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) here on Mar. 10 before the Bonnie Miss. She paid $3.20 to win and was timed in 1:49:25 over the fast track in her first start around two turns.

New Life Stable’s 65-1 longshot Hopeful Image finished a distant third in the field of six, 10½ lengths behind the runner-up as Katherine Ball’s second-choice Gatorette tired to fifth after setting a fast pace to the far turn.

Winning Jockey Quotes

Julien Leparoux:

“We got the outside post and I was just keeping an eye on the three (Gatorette). She was the speed. We didn’t really want to rush (out of the gate). I was waiting to let her go and she did the rest. Today, she won because she is a very good horse and better than the rest of them. I really didn’t do anything special.”

Winning Trainer Quote

Neil McLaughlin, assistant to brother Kiaran McLaughlin:

“I thought she would be a little closer early, but the filly in front (Gatorette) was really going fast. Julien (Leparoux) did a great job and just laid back. We had the outside post, which let him see everything develop. We felt all along that she would handle the two turns with no problem and she did. She’ll fly to Kentucky Monday and train at Keeneland until we move over to Churchill and get ready to run in the ((Kentucky) Oaks.”

Note: Kiaran McLaughlin is in Dubai where he will send out Donn Handicap (G1) winner Albertus Maximus as the favorite in the $6 million World Cup (G1) Saturday.


23:33, 46:29, 1:10:15, 1:35:89 & 1:49:25

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