Calumet Farm's Oxy Lady, the longest shot on the board at 36-1, utilized a perfect trip from Declan Cannon to provide trainer Jack Sisterson with his first career stakes win in Friday's Grade 3, $150,000 Tempted at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The bay daughter of Oxbow, racing through foggy conditions with blinkers on for the first time, saved all the ground while tracking from fourth position under Cannon in the one-turn mile for juvenile fillies over the Aqueduct main track as Takecharge Mirella notched the quarter mile in :23.27 seconds and the half in :47.30 under pressure from Surge of Pride and Enliven.
Takecharge Mirella maintained a precarious lead through the turn as Oxy Lady, full of run but with nowhere to go, was angled outside to launch her rally. When Cannon asked, his filly fired a ferocious kick to overtake Enliven and power home a five-length winner in 1:38.88 seconds.
Enliven completed the exacta, seven lengths in front of Surge of Pride. Brucia La Terra, the 3-5 mutuel favorite, broke outwardly from the outside post and failed to threaten throughout.
Oxy Lady graduated at second asking at Belterra Park and arrived at Aqueduct from a strong third, defeated by just a head in an optional claiming event at Keeneland. Sisterson, in attendance at Aqueduct to accept the trophy, only picked up his filly's run late in the turn.
“All credit to Declan. We couldn't see much from our view, but the way she finished was strong and we're very pleased with that,” Sisterson said.
A former assistant to trainers Todd Pletcher and Doug O'Neill, Sisterson went out on his own earlier this year. He was quick to credit his team for the important equipment change.
“Jesus Castanon, who rode her at Belterra and is a big team player, as well as his brother Antonio, who is an exercise rider for us, said you might want to try a set of blinkers,” Sisterson explained. “We thought about it, but how do you make an equipment change after a five-length win? Adam (Beschizza) rode her again at Keeneland and said she loomed up as if she was going to win, but did not give her best effort, so today, we put on the blinkers and Declan [Cannon] came to work her on Sunday in the blinkers, and that helped out.”
Cannon was pleased with the patient trip he worked out for Oxy Lady.
“I was just concerned about getting to the front too soon. I was surprised she didn't get a little more respect coming here. Her works have been super. I knew I was going to have a big run today and I'm glad it worked out,” Cannon said. “She's very straight forward and has a good cruising speed. She kind of looks around when she gets to the front, which is why I wanted to play that card last. It worked out perfect today. I had a stalking trip and she answered my call when I asked for her.”
Bred in Kentucky by her owners, Oxy Lady banked $82,500 in victory while improving her record to 2-1-1 from four career starts. She returned $75 for a $2 win ticket. Seek and Destroy, Two Dozen Roses and Hollywood Glory were scratched.
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