Feb. 12, 2011
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011) – Drs. K.K. Jayaraman and Vilasini Jayaraman’s Holy Heaven was last early, but by the time the field of Saturday’s $75,000 Martha Washington had made one full lap around, she was first when it counted most, drawing off to win by one-length over Scarlet Mist. Winning time for the one-mile race was 1:42 4/5 over a good Oaklawn Park track. Jazzin’ Okie was third.
The winner, sent off as the 6-to-1 third choice, paid $14.60, $5.80 and $4.00. Scarlet Mist paid $24.40 and $9.00, while Jazzin’ Okie paid $3.40 to show.
Longshot Roma Jean gained the early advantage and took the field through opening fractions of :23 2/5 and :48 2/5 for the first half mile before conceding the lead to Scarlet Mist and fading. Holy Heavens, who was kept to the inside down the backstretch, gradually started gaining on horses, came three wide into the homestretch and successfully launched her bid to victory.
“It set up perfectly for us,” said winning jockey Israel Ocampo, who won his first stakes race at Oaklawn. “I knew there was plenty of early speed, so I just played it by ear down the backside while trying to save ground. (Trainer) Bernard (Chatters) has done a heck of a job with this filly. He had her fit today.”
Dixie Belle Stakes winner Mazucambera, Playgirl Prospect, 6-to-5 favorite Grandacious, Miss Kinderhook and Roma Jean completed the order of finish. Summer Soiree was scratched.
Bred by her owners in Florida, the 3-year-old Holy Bull filly has now won two of seven career starts and has earned $86,440. The next stakes opportunity for Holy Heavens at Oaklawn Park would be the $125,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 12, the final local prep for the $300,000 Fantasy Stakes (G2) April 10.
Live racing resumes at Oaklawn Park Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. first post. The feature race of 10 live races will be the $100,000 Essex Handicap.