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Delightful Mary gets the job done at OBS

Past OBS sales-topper Delightful Mary, shown training last fall, made a winning return to Ocala(Harold Roth/Horsephotos.com)
Had wagering been available for Monday's 22nd annual OBS Day of Champions, John C. Oxley's DELIGHTFUL MARY (Limehouse) would have been a prohibitive odds-on favorite versus only three rivals in the $97,000 filly division of the OBS Championship S. Yet the Kentucky Oaks (G1) nominee, last seen finishing third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), had to work harder than expected to capture her sophomore debut at the Ocala Training Center.

The Mark Casse-trained Delightful Mary was a tracking third in the early going as her stablemate Silent Moon (Malibu Moon) carved out splits of :24 1/5, :49 3/5 and 1:14, with Be My Candy (Candy Ride [Arg]) traveling well in second. Surprisingly, Delightful Mary had to be roused by Shaun Bridgmohan to keep up on the far turn. By that point, Be My Candy was emerging as a real danger, and she overtook Silent Moon at the top of the stretch.

Then Delightful Mary finally began to hit her stride. Edging past Be My Candy in the waning yards, Delightful Mary was three-quarters of a length on top while completing 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic Safetrack in 1:45 4/5. Snow Trial (Trippi) checked in another 1 1/4 lengths back in third, and Silent Moon brought up the rear.

Delightful Mary, a 24-1 shot in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager that closed Sunday evening, sports a mark of 5-3-1-1, $370,377. Purchased for a sales-topping $500,000 from the Hobeau Farm Dispersal at the OBS April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, the chestnut was an impressive winner of her first two starts at Woodbine last year. Delightful Mary suffered her first defeat when runner-up in the October 9 Mazarine S. (Can-G3) to Wyomia (Vindication), who just returned to claim Saturday's Suncoast S. Next time in the November 5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs, Delightful Mary was a creditable third to unbeaten champion Awesome Feather (Awesome of Course) and Grade 1 star R Heat Lightning (Trippi), most recently victorious in the February 26 Davona Dale S. (G2).

The Florida-bred is out of the winning French Deputy mare Deputy's Delight, making her a half-sister to Grade 2-winning millionaire Delightful Kiss (Kissin Kris) and recent Santana Mile S. third Honour the Deputy (Honour and Glory).

Three other stakes were also contested on the OBS Day of Champions program, restricted to three-year-olds who have passed through the OBS sales ring.

Roger Urbina's REPRIZED HALO (Halo's Image) stole the $100,000 colts and geldings' division of the OBS Championship S. under a canny front-running ride by Jose Alvarez. The Manuel Azpurua charge was wheeling back eight days after trailing in the Gulfstream Park allowance won by Equestrio (Elusive Quality) over Holy Bull S. (G3) winner Dialed In (Mineshaft).

Taking the lead in the bunched-up pack through an opening quarter in :25 1/5, Reprized Halo glided ahead and set an uncontested pace of :51 4/5 and 1:16 2/5. His pursuers made little dent as he set sail for home, but Extended Family (Stephen Got Even), narrowly beaten in a $35,000 maiden claimer in his latest, was whittling down the deficit in the final furlong. Reprized Halo had too much left to be caught, however, and crossed the wire three-quarters of a length clear. The final time for 1 1/16 miles was a pokey 1:47 2/5.

Reprized Halo was winning for the first time since the October 16 In Reality division of the Florida Stallion S. While he had little luck since, including a sixth in the November 13 Arthur I. Appleton Juvenile Turf S. and a last-of-10 effort in the February 12 Sam F. Davis S. (G3), the horses he beat in the In Reality -- Gourmet Dinner (Trippi) and Decisive Moment (With Distinction) -- came back to run one-two in the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3). Gourmet Dinner has since finished second in the Fountain of Youth S. (G2). The Florida-bred Reprized Halo, a $23,000 OBS April graduate, has compiled a 13-3-1-1 resume with $316,579 in his account.

Centaur Farms' homebred MEGALITH (Trippi) relished the cut-back to six furlongs so much that he set a new track record in the colts and geldings' division of the $50,000 OBS Sprint S., stopping the teletimer in 1:09 3/5. The Ronald B. Spatz pupil, who was coming off a pair of unplaced efforts in two-turn turf stakes at Gulfstream Park, mowed down Legacy Wildcat (Forest Wildcat) and longtime leader Dual Exhauzt (Alke) to win going away by 1 1/2 lengths.

Ridden for the first time by Rajiv Maragh, Megalith was reserved in the fifth spot in the six-horse field. On the front end, Dual Exhauzt rattled off fractions of :21 4/5 and :44 1/5, prompted first by Great Aztec (Greatness) and then by Legacy Wildcat. Dual Exhauzt shook free entering the stretch, but Legacy Wildcat gave persistent chase and drew alongside the pacesetter. Meanwhile, Megalith was delivering a potent rally widest of all, and surged past them both inside the final sixteenth. Legacy Wildcat wore down Dual Exhauzt by a length for runner-up honors.

Megalith's first stakes score, in his synthetic debut, improved his record to 8-3-1-1, $90,535. The Calder-based gelding's previous stakes attempts resulted in a fourth in the December 26 Inaugural S. at Tampa Bay Downs, a promotion to fourth in the January 16 Dania Beach S. at Gulfstream, and a ninth in the February 6 Hallandale Beach S. at the same venue. The Florida-bred was listed as sold for $21,000 as a two-year-old at OBS April.

In the companion $50,000 OBS Sprint S. for fillies, Curtis C. Green's homebred ONE STAR (Include) rebounded from a debacle in an optional claimer to record a game 1 3/4-length decision. Trained by James DiVito and piloted by Elvis Trujillo, the gray took 1:11 to negotiate the six furlongs.

One Star, who RNA'd for $19,000 at OBS April, was dropped in for a $75,000 tag last time out on February 27 at Tampa, where she lost her action on the backstretch and unseated her rider. No such problems befell her Monday. As Wild Penny (Congrats) and Take Me to Zuber (Toccet) alternated for the lead through splits of :22 1/5 and :45 2/5, One Star was chasing them and creeping steadily closer. She joined the fray turning for home, and the trio battled down the lane, with One Star eventually proving strongest. Take Me to Zuber outdueled Wild Penny by a head for second.

One Star increased her earnings to $64,474 from her 9-2-2-2 line. The Kentucky-bred's other victory had also come on synthetic at Arlington Park, but she tired to 10th when trying the Arlington-Washington Lassie (G3) in her last appearance on Polytrack.


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