The 5-year-old Martini Glass earned her first graded stakes victory just last month, but trainer and co-owner Keith Nations had had faith in the one-time $16,000 claimer's talent for some time. On Saturday, the daughter of Kitalpha proved herself with a win against a solid field in the Grade 2 Azeri at Oaklawn Park. After racing just off the frontrunners down the backstretch, Martini Glass came flying down the stretch to score by nearly three lengths in her first trip to Arkansas. Ridden by Paco Lopez for co-owner Vincent Campanella, the mare completed 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:42.95.
Martini Glass was off as the second choice at 4-1, while 3-1 favorite Actress finished second.
As expected, the speedy Farrell got the first call as she out-ran Terra Promessa to the first turn. Those two stayed within a length of one another through solid fractions of :23.15, :46.92 and 1:11.23. In the early stages, Martini Glass was in about fifth position, but she passed Blue Prize and Streamline on the backstretch to move into striking range.
Terra Promessa began to close the gap on Farrell rounding the far turn, but Lopez waited until the stretch to make his move on Martini Glass. Farrell re-broke at the head of the lane, putting away Terra Promessa, but couldn't sustain the drive as Martini Glass cruised to an easy victory. Actress closed from the rear of the field to earn second over Farrell, and Tiger Moth was the best of the rest in fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Aschinger Bloodstock, Martini Glass was claimed for the bargain price of $16,000 in her very first start. The filly won her next two races for Nations, but was a bit inconsistent until her 4-year-old season. Last year, she finished a close second to champion Songbird in the G1 Delaware Handicap, then ran second to Romantic Vision in the G1 Juddmonte Spinster. Now, Martini Glass has compiled back-to-back graded stakes wins, boosting her career total to 10 wins from 23 starts with earnings of over $850,000.
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