July 23, 2024

Affirmative Lady rolls late for Gulfstream Park Oaks

Affirmative Lady wins the Gulfstream Park Oaks (Photo by Jeff Zamaiko/Coglianese Photos)

Affirmative Lady came charging over the top in the short stretch of Saturday’s $255,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), surging past rivals to earn her first stakes win. Luis Saez was up Graham Motion on the three-year-old daughter of Arrogate, and Affirmative Lady stamped her Kentucky Oaks (G1) ticket with the two-length decision.

The major qualifier in the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series awarded points on a 100-40-30-20-10 scale to the top five finishers, and Affirmative Lady increased her ledger to 110 points following a second in December’s Demoiselle (G2) and a third in January’s Busanda S. as a maiden. The gray filly was exiting her first career win, a 2 1/4-length triumph in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 26.

Off as the 8.50-1 fifth choice in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, Affirmative Lady turned the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.69.

She rated in fourth as Flakes showed the way on a short lead through opening splits in :23.73 and :47.63. Davona Dale (G2) winner Dorth Vader, who tracked the pacesetter at 4-1 odds, launched the first challenge, sticking a head front in upper stretch, but Affirmative Lady was starting to gain momentum and rallied boldly after straightening for home, overhauling the top two and driving clear.

Sacred Wish, who closed belatedly from last at 9-1, got up on the far outside to edge 30-1 Flakes by a head, and it was another neck to Dorth Vader, who ran out of gas after striking the front. Next came 2-1 favorite Miracle, Infinite Diamond, Atomically, and Just Katherine.

AMO Racing USA campaigns Affirmative Lady, $400,000 OBS April two-year-old purchase, and she was bred in Kentucky by Alastar Thoroughbred Co. Affirmative Lady is the first stakes winner from the multiple stakes-winning Stephen Got Even mare Stiffed, and she improved career mark to 6-2-1-2.

Affirmative Lady will bring a staunch finishing kick to the Kentucky Oaks on May 5, but she will face much deeper competition at Churchill Downs.