Feb. 9, 2013
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013) – Sister Ginger rebounded from a poor performance opening day to win Saturday’s $75,000 Martha Washington Stakes in front-running fashion. In the process, the 3-year-old Student Council filly, trained by Steve Asmussen, earned 10 points towards entry into the May 3 $1 million Kentucky Oaks based on Churchill Downs’ new criteria for making the race.
Overlooked at odds of nearly 20-1, Sister Ginger shot to the lead from post four and was allowed to set leisurely fractions of 23 4/5 and 48 3/5 for the first half mile. The even-money favorite Rose to Gold joined her at the top of the stretch and briefly took the lead, but when jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. asked, the winner responded and drew off through the stretch to win the one-mile race by 2 ¾ lengths in a final time of 1:39 2/5 on a fast track.
Broken Spell overcame a wide trip after racing in last place to finish third, a half-length in front of Dixie Belle Stakes winner American Sugar. Liberty Girl, I Am Miss Brown, Cloudy in Sandiego and Lady Stonewall completed the order of finish.
“It was the perfect trip,” and Santana Jr. “She made the lead fairly easily. When I moved her, I had a lot of horse in my hand. She moved nice. When I was beside the number 9 (Rose to Gold), I bumped with her a little bit and my filly got a little scared, but when I pushed her in the stretch, she went on and won the race.”
Sister Ginger, who races for her breeders Millennium Farms and Little Brother Farm, improved her career record to two wins from six starts and has now earned $87,761. She returned $41.20, $12.40 and $7.20.
Live racing resumes Sunday at Oaklawn with a 1:30 p.m. first post.