She broke her maiden for a tag of $15,000 in January of this year, and was claimed for $30,000 in her next start. On Saturday, Chocolate Martini was the 13-1 surprise winner of the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks, earning 100 points and a spot in the starting gate on the first Friday in May. The 3-year-old daughter of Broken Vow, owned by Double Doors Racing LLC, covered 1 1/16 miles over the Fair Grounds' fast main track in 1:44.44 for trainer Tom Amoss. The victory is the biggest of jockey Mitchell Murrill's career.
“We were very, very lucky to get this horse just as she was starting to become a better racehorse, which you see a lot with the young horses,” Amoss said. “I can't stress enough how lucky we were to get her while she was maturing.”
A hard-charging Eskimo Kisses finished second at 4-1, while 9-5 favorite Wonder Gadot was relegated to third. Classy Act was fourth after wandering about in the lane.
Classy Act jumped to the lead right away in the Fair Grounds Oaks, taking the front of the seven-filly field heading into the first turn. She developed a three-length lead through fractions of :23.39 and :46.28, chased by the duo of She's A Julie and America's Tale. Wonder Gadot was a joint fourth with Saguaro Row, while Chocolate Martini and Eskimo Kisses brought up the rear of the field.
Turning for home after three-quarters in 1:11.02, Classy Act had a dominating three-length advantage and looked like an easy winner. She started drifting mildly to the outside, then, as the stretch wore on, her drifting got more and more significant. While Wonder Gadot chose to angle to her inside for her run, Chocolate Martini was taken outside by Murrill.
Jockey Javier Castellano got Classy Act a little straighter near the eighth pole, but Chocolate Martini had already unleashed her rally and taken the lead. Eskimo Kisses was making up a ton of ground in the final sixteenth, but came up just a neck shy at the wire as Chocolate Martini held on to victory. Wonder Gadot was just a length back in third, while Classy Act was relegated to fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Savino A. Capilupi, Chocolate Martini was originally a $65,000 Keeneland September Yearling sale purchase. She began her career in the colors of Carl Moore for trainer Bret Calhoun, breaking her maiden in her fourth career start. Amoss claimed her away for $30,000 in February, and she proceeded to win her next start, an allowance/optional claiming event with a tag of $50,000. Now, Chocolate Martini has a record of three wins from seven starts and earnings of over $270,000.
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