Jan. 20, 2013
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Sunday, Jan 20, 2012) – Sunday’s card at Oaklawn was highlighted by co-features for female sprinters and each winner served notice that they are forces to be reckoned with in their respective divisions. Poindexter Thoroughbreds’ American Sugar took the first step toward the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 10 with a dominating victory in the $60,000 Dixie Belle for 3-year-old fillies, while Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Cheery looks ready to lead the older females after taking the $60,000 American Beauty Stakes.
In the Dixie Belle, American Sugar stumbled slightly just after the break and was last early as Baby Princess set the early fractions of 22 1/5 and 46 2/5. It didn’t take the winner long to get into gear, however. With a sweeping, five-wide move, she took command at the top of the stretch and drew off to win by seven lengths over Little Miss Fitz in a final time of 1:11 3/5 for six furlongs over a fast track. Lady Stonewall, the 4-5 favorite, was close throughout, but had to settle for third.
“She just out broke herself, but she’s so athletic,” said winning jockey Alex Birzer. “She’s such a nice filly. By the time I needed to ask her at the top of the stretch she had already taken herself to the lead. From there it was just a matter of finishing our business. Lynn and her crew have done such a great job with her.”
American Sugar, a Harlan’s Holiday filly trained by Lynn Chleborad, has now won three stakes at three different racetracks and overall, has won four of eight career starts for $138,866 in earnings. She returned $10.20, $5.40 and $2.80 at odds of 4-1.
One race later, Cheery took her turn in the winner’s circle after winning the American Beauty by 1 ¼ lengths over All About Allie. After winning all four of her starts last year in front-running fashion, the winner showed a new dimension in her seasonal debut by sitting off the pace set by Mysterious Chimes through an opening half mile in 46 2/5. When jockey Victor Lebron called on her, she responded, drawing off to win the six furlong race in 1:11 2/5. Formal Plan was third.
Cheery, a homebred by Distorted Humor trained by Al Stall Jr., returned $3.80, $3.00 and $2.10 as the heavy 4-5 favorite. She improved her career record to 5-2-0 in nine starts and has now earned $172,762.
Racing resumes Monday at Oaklawn for a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day card featuring the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and a free baseball cap giveaway with paid admission while supplies last. First post is 1 p.m.