Trainer Jinks Fires and wife Penny had another reason to celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary Friday.
Favored Pistolpackinpenny swept to the lead with a six-wide move turning for home en route to a record-breaking victory in the $75,000 Downthedustyroad Breeders' Stakes before an announced crowd at Oaklawn.
The 6-furlong race – restricted to Arkansas-bred fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and upward – was originally scheduled to be run Saturday, Feb. 28, but was postponed six days because of severe winter weather.
Under Jon Court, the Fires’ son-in-law, Pistolpackinpenny finished 6 ¾ lengths ahead of front-running Miss Beautiful, who nosed out Easter Shoes for the place. It was the largest margin of victory in the history of the Downthedustyroad, first run in 2010.
“We were looking for this win today for more reasons than one," Court said. “But it really puts icing on that cake."
The slight 2-1 favorite over Jan’s Perfect Star, Pistolpackinpennypaid $6.40, $4 and $2.60. Miss Beautiful paid $7.60 and $3.60. Easter Shoes paid $2.20.
Easter Indy, Jan’s Perfect Star, Pink Flash, Sweet Ruby Kate and Little Miss Flurry completed the order of finish Be My Caroline, Faith Rising, Huggins and Kissin, Miss Addicate and Sugar Run Wild were late scratches.
Under 117 pounds, Pistolpackinpenny ran 6 furlongs over a good-rated track in 1:11.70.
Court said the race unfolded perfectly for Pistolpackinpenny, who was coming off a strong runner-up finish in state-bred allowance company at a mile Feb. 19. Following a sharp break from post 8, Court took Pistolpackinpenny off the demanding pace set by byMiss Beautiful (:45.97 half-mile). Pistolpackinpenny began advancing on the leaders six-wide late on the turn and quickly turned a 3 ¼ deficit entering the stretch into a commanding advantage in the final furlong.
“We were actually able to follow the plans, textbook style,” Court said. “So we executed them, and it put us in the winner’s circle. She ran impressive today.”
A 5-year-old daughter of Portobello Road, Pistolpackinpennyincreased her career earnings to $165,203 following her fourth victory from 20 starts. The Downthedustyroad was Pistolpackinpenny’s third career victory at Oaklawn.T