Whitham Thoroughbreds' With Dignity, a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winning McCraken, lit up the toteboard at odds of 17-1 to win Saturday's finale under jockey Julien Leparoux.
Trained by Ian Wilkes, With Dignity rallied from seven lengths off of the early pace in the 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight contest for 3-year-old fillies to win her career debut.
“I had an idea this filly was talented all along but to win like that, on debut, was very impressive,” Wilkes said. “She started training over the winter at Palm Meadows and I had an idea to get her ready for the start of the meet at Churchill. Julien rode a great race and it was great to have the Whithams in town to watch her win.”
McCraken, who was owned and bred by Janis Whitham's Whitham Thoroughbreds, won his career debut at odds of 5-2 before winning his next three starts that included a trio of stakes: the Street Sense, Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) and Sam F. Davis (GIII).
“That was a really strong effort for a debut,” Leparoux said. “She really dug in and had to try very hard to get by the horse on the lead (Dos Vinos). She showed a lot of determination and talent to do that.”
With Dignity is a daughter of Declaration of War out of Whitham's mare Ivory Empress. Declaration of War's offspring have 82 victories on the turf and only 14 on the dirt.
“She has the turf in her pedigree but she really doesn't run like a turf horse,” Wilkes said.
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