Mamma Kimbo wins Fantasy at Oaklawn, headed to Kentucky OaksApr 11th, 2012 | By TrackSide View | Category: Iron Maidens
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – If the Wednesday’s win by Peachtree Stable’s Mamma Kimbo in the $300,000 Fantasy Stakes (G2) is any indication of how trainer Bob Baffert’s Racing Festival of the South week is going to go then every other trainer will be running for second-place. With stars like Plum Pretty, Secret Circle and Bodemeister awaiting their chances, Mamma Kimbo stamped her ticket for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) with a front-running stroll under Mike Smith.
It was just the second career race for the 3-year-old daughter of Discreet Cat and her first attempt around two turns, but after a quick break from the gate and a slight pause around the first bend in the 1 1/16th-mile contest, it was clear early there would be no rookie mistakes. She cruised away from the dogged pursuit by Amie’s Dini to score by 1¼-lengths in 1:43.64 and paid $4.80 as the 7/5 favorite.
“Bob (Baffert) really thought a lot of this filly,” said Smith, who pushed his career win total to 5,001 after hitting the milestone last Saturday in California. “He was very confident in her. He said to just let her break and to stay out of her way. That’s all I had to.”
Amie’s Dini, the heroine of the Martha Washington Stakes in February, found herself runner-up for a third time in a stakes this year at Oaklawn. She lost in January to then-undefeated Now I Know, last month to top-rated On Fire Baby and today to Mamma Kimbo. Trainer Ron Moquett was disappointed but proud and confident.
“I’ve got to say, we have finished second to three of the nicest horses out there,” he said. “Not to take anything away from any of them, but we showed she could run with all of them. They were just a little bit better each time. I’m sure my filly’s got a race like that out there for her.”
Baffert trained the third-place finisher, Jemima’s Pearl and has now won the last four races he’s entered at Oaklawn and pushed his career record here to 14-for-23. The Hall of Fame trainer got a clean bill from his cardiologist earlier in the day back home in California, two weeks removed from suffering a heart attack while in Dubai.
“That was good therapy for the heart,” he said. “(Wife) Jill, (son) Bode, and I were having fish tacos overlooking Del Mar watching the race. We were in heaven. This is a nice filly. From her first start we gave her some time since the past race and she delivered. You never know if they’re going to hold on. Jill was rooting for her and then all the sudden she goes ‘Oh my God, here comes the five,’ and I said, ‘That’s us too.’”
The Racing Festival of the South continues Thursday with the $75,000 Carousel Stakes and the $100,000 Redbud Stakes highlighting the card. First post is 1:30 p.m.
Mamma Kimbo wins the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes.