Hot Springs, Ark. (Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015) – Nearly one year after she became a winner for the first time in impressive fashion at Oaklawn, Shadwell Farm’s Mufajaah was equally eye-catching earning her first stakes victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Pippin Stakes. The 4-year-old filly came from off the pace to win by three lengths over Haunted Heroine and longshot Pearl Turn was third.
Mufajaah raced near the back of the field early as Honey’s Ryan took control through an opening quarter mile in :23 4/5 and half-mile in :47 3/5. Ridden confidently by jockey Manny Esquivel, the eventual winner began picking up momentum entering the far turn, made a sweeping six-wide move into the stretch and easily pulled away from her competition in the stretch. Mufajaah completed the 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:44 3/5.
“She broke well and let the other guys go out to the front,” said Esquivel. “She relaxed for me the first half of the race. When we got to the half mile pole I started to ask her to move. Turning for home I got her attention and she gave it all to me. I’ve never rode here before and to get my first win of the meet and in this stake race for these connections makes me feel great. I’m very thankful.”
“I thought she was training like she did here last year,” added winning trainer Danny Peitz. “She always seemed like she was pretty happy over this racetrack, and she ran back to her races here. I was a little worried about how much ground we were losing. But, that was the race she ran at Churchill this fall – winning the same way; circling the field. I knew a good race would put her right in the mix here with these fillies today.”
Mufajaah, a homebred daughter of Tapit, improved her record to 11-4-0-1 and has now earned $177,140. She returned $13.00, $6.60 and $5.40 at odds of 5-1.
Call Pat, Honey’s Ryan, Courageous Julie, Diva’s Diamond, Lady Haddassah and favorite Spring in the Air, who had a poor start and never fired, completed the order of finish.
Live racing resumes Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. first post. There will also be a special Monday card of racing for Martin Luther King Jr. day featuring the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and a free baseball cap giveaway. Vouchers will be distributed as guests come through the gates and these can be redeemed following the second race on the first floor of the Grandstand. General admission is free all meet long.