Stakes Advance - Mockingbird

Compiled by Robert Yates

An evenly matched field of six is entered in the inaugural $150,000 Mockingbird Stakes for 3-year-old filly sprinters Saturday at Oaklawn.

Probable post time for the six-furlong Mockingbird, the ninth of 10 races, is 4:22 p.m. (Central). Racing begins at 12:30 p.m.

The field for the Mockingbird, from the rail out: Midshipman’s Dance (#1), Cristian Torres to ride, 119 pounds, 5-1 on the morning line; Sharp Tune (#2), Keith Asmussen, 121, 3-1; Edistrudis (#3), Martin Chuan, 119, 4-1; Xtreme Smoke Show (#4), Emmanuel Esquivel, 121, 5-1; Divine Gal (#5), Francisco Arrieta, 121, 9-2; and Tanya Showers (#6), Chris Landeros, 119, 5-2.

Program favorite Tanya Showers will be making her stakes debut after breaking her maiden sprinting Dec. 31, the second card in Oaklawn history exclusively for 2-year-olds.

A late-running daughter of sprint champion Runhappy, Tanya Showers (#6) has finished third twice and fourth once in her first three starts for 2015 Oaklawn training champion Chris Hartman. Tanya Showers (#6) debuted with a third-place finish behind Royal Slipper, who ran third as the favorite in her next start, the $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes Nov. 18 at Del Mar.

“Of our group of horses, she’s one of our better fillies,” Hartman said. “She is a hard-trying little filly. She’s just a filly that’s got a lot of grit to her. I don’t know why it took her so long to break her maiden. I would have thought she would have broken it earlier, but she had run with some super-nice fillies. She’s been in with some pretty nice fillies.”

Divine Gal (#5), unbeaten in two starts, exits a neck victory over Edistrudis (#3) in an allowance sprint Dec. 17 at Oaklawn for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel and co-owners Norma Lee Stockseth and Todd Dunn. The trio also campaigned Cosmic Burst, who won Oaklawn’s $200,000 G3-Honeybee Stakes in 2018.

“That would be all right, wouldn’t it?” Von Hemel said, referring to a stakes repeat. “I think we’ll eventually (stretch her out) at some point. Don’t know when it’s going to be yet.”

Sharp Tune (#2) and Xtreme Smoke Show (#4) are trying to rebound from poor stakes performances in their last starts for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen and tMac Robertson, respectively.

Midshipman’s Dance (#1) was a Dec. 16 debut winner at Oaklawn and is now with two-time local training champion Robertino Diodoro. Edistrudis (#3) returns to stakes company after finishing sixth in the $150,000 Ellis Park Debutante Aug. 13 at Ellis Park for trainer Fausto Gutierrez.

“Looks like an evenly matched field,” Hartman said.