May 26, 2024

Yuugiri leads all the way in Fantasy; Fulsome, Acting Out win undercard stakes at Oaklawn

Yuugiri wins the Fantasy Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

A major qualifier for the Kentucky Oaks (G1), the $600,000 Fantasy (G2) offered 170 points to the top four finishers (100-40-20-10 scale). It was one of three stakes on Saturday’s Arkansas Derby undercard at Oaklawn Park.

Fantasy (G2)

Yuugiri promises to add place to the Kentucky Oaks on May 6, leading wire-to-wire in the 1 1/16-mile Fantasy. The Rodolphe Brisset-trained filly gamely netted her first stakes win, digging in to deny Beguine by a neck, and Yuugiri survived a stewards’ inquiry after drifting in slightly and brushing the runner-up in the stretch.

Last seen opening her sophomore campaign with a non-threatening third to Secret Oath in the Feb. 26 Honeybee (G3) at Oaklawn, Yuugiri finished second in the Golden Rod (G2) and Rags to Riches S. at Churchill Downs last fall.

The 4-1 third choice in the Fantasy, Yuuguri sped to the front after the gates opened, recording opening splits in :22.89 and :46.65 while showing the way on about a one-length lead with Florent Geroux. She turned back Bubble Rock, who tracked in second at 3-1, after turning for home, but Yuugiri came under pressure from Beguine in midstretch.

The bay filly reasserted control late to prevail, stopping the teletimer in 1:43.65, and Yuugiri is a homebred daughter of Shackleford for Tsunebumi and Sekie Yoshihara.

Beguine, 11-1 following a March 5 maiden win in her third start, stalked in third before challenging in the stretch, and she was three lengths clear of Bubble Rock. I Feel the Need, 17-10 favorite Dream Lith, Heartyconstitution, Mariah’s Fortune, and Magic Circle completed the order.

Out of the stakes-winning Medaglia d’Oro mare Yuzuru, Kentucky-bred Yuugiri increased her career earnings to $543,610.

Oaklawn Mile (G3)

Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Fulsome overcame a bad start in the $400,000 Oaklawn Mie (G3), closing from last to defeat odds-on favorite Cezanne by a neck. A convincing winner of the Matt Winn (G3) and Smarty Jones (G3) last summer, the Brad Cox-trained colt was returning from a six-month layoff.

Geroux didn’t panic after being shuffled back at the break, settling last of nine runners down the backstretch. Cezanne, who was exiting a win in the March 5 San Carlos (G2) at Santa Anita, raced within a couple of lengths of the lead in third through opening splits in :22.73 and :45.87.

After Fulsome circled five-wide into contention on the far turn, Cezanne struck the front in upper stretch, and he continued to battle gamely to the wire, but Fulsome proved too much in deep stretch, finishing up the two-turn mile in 1:36.43.

Off at 8-1, Fulsome was last seen finishing fourth in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1). The four-year-old son of Into Mischief improved his career ledger to 11-6-1-1, $879,324.

Runnin’ Ray wound up two lengths back of Cezanne in third, and he was followed by Necker Island, Silver Prospector, Mo Mosa, Roadster, Market Analysis, and Law Professor.

A half-brother to a pair of stakes-placed runners, Kentucky-bred Fulsome is the first stakes winner out of the Distorted Humor mare Flourish, a half-sister to seven-time Grade 1 winner and $2.4 million earner Sightseek and multiple Grade-1 winning millionaire Tates Creek. They are out of the outstanding Nureyev mare Viviana.

Carousel S.

Acting Out quickly cleared after breaking on top and dug in gamely to repel 1-2 favorite Frank’s Rockette in the $200,000 Carousel S., prevailing by a half-length. Owned by Sherman Racing, Zvika Akin, and Robert Hawkins, the five-year-old mare earned her first stakes win.

Martin Garcia was up for Jerry Hollendorfer, and Acting Out established fractions in :22.12 and :45.16 before completing six furlongs in 1:09.26. The gray daughter of Blame left the starting gate as 6-1 fourth choice among six runners.

Based in Southern California her entire career, Acting Out returned from a 7 1/2-month layoff to win her first start at Oaklawn on March 11, defeating conditioned allowance foes by a neck, and she’s now earned $323,840 from a 12-5-3-0 record.

Frank’s Rockette, who had been freshened since a runner-up finish in December’s Sugar Swirl (G3) at Gulfstream, finished second in the Carousel for the second straight year. She rallied to just miss, winding up 2 1/4 lengths clear of Novel SquaIl in third. Next came Joy’s Rocket, Wildwood’s Beauty, and Li’l Tootsie.

From the immediate female family of multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Ironicus, Acting Out sold for only $12,000 as a three-year-old at the 2020 Keeneland January sale. She’s out of the Speightstown mare Riding Point and was bred in Kentucky by Vincent Colbert.