Last Saturday's 43rd running of the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park was won by WILL'S SECRET — ridden by jockey Jon Court, trained by Dallas Stewart, and owned by Willis Horton Racing LLC.
Six horses lined up for the one mile event over the muddy going. They broke evenly but WILL'S SECRET was taken back to rate behind the leading flight, headed by SYLVIA Q who set the early fractions of 23.61, 47.35, and 1:12.37. The 4-5 favorite COACH made an early move along the backstretch, from last to third, while WILL'S SECRET was momentarily boxed. With three furlongs to go, Jon Court moves WILL'S SECRET to the outside for a four wide bid for the lead and gets it. JOY'S SECRET tries to go with her but WILL'S SECRET strides away powerfully, putting 5 ½ lengths between her and the field. COACH re-rallied to get up for second, ½ a length in front of JOY'S ROCKET who ran third. The final time was 1:38.78.
WILL'S SECRET paid $18.00 to win, $6.20 to place, $2.80 to show. She is by WILL TAKE CHARGE out of GIRLS SECRET by GIANT'S CAUSEWAY. This was her first start at Oaklawn Park and her victory gives her two wins in a row.
Oaklawn Park's Martha Washington Stakes has run 42 times before, and attracted some of racing's superstar fillies of the past. Preakness Stakes winner RACHEL ALEXANDRA won it in 2009, and Kentucky Derby-placed EIGHT BELLES won it in 2008.
Keep an eye on the fillies that ran in this year's edition, for we may hear more from them come Kentucky Oaks day.
WILL'S SECRET's victory added ten points for the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, COACH earned four points for coming second, JOY'S ROCKET two points for third, and SYLVIA Q, one point for fourth.