Farrell Proves Best With Fair Grounds Oaks Victory


Channing Hill guided Farrell to her fourth consecutive victory in the Fair Grounds Oaks at Fair Grounds Racecourse on Saturday.

Coffepot Stables’ homebred Farrell officially claimed her position as the filly to beat to beat in the Kentucky Oaks with her impressive 3 ¼-length score in the $388,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) over the Louisiana oval’s fast main track on Saturday. The daughter of Malibu Moon is trained by Wayne Catalano and was ridden to victory by his son-in-law, Channing Hill.

As the 2-5 favorite in the field of six, Farrell was good for $2.80, $2.40 and $2.20. Longshot Wicked Luck paid $6.20 and $2.80, capping off a $16 exacta, while 7-2 chance Vexatious paid $2.20. The trifecta paid $19.20.

Of the $99,709 bet to show on the race, $80,270 was bet on Farrell.

Daria’s Angel, Corporate Queen and Queen Bernardina completed the order of finish after Majestic Quality and Summer Luck were withdrawn.

From the gate, Daria’s Angel set sail for the lead and with Vexatious stalking to her outside and Farrell even father out, pressing the pace in third through three-quarters of a mile in splits of :24.09, :47.55 and 1:12.09.

As the leader rounded the final turn and began to fade, Farrell was asked for her best run and, while widest of all, made the lead at the head of the stretch.

With Hill never moving an inch or raising his hands, Farrell began to draw away down the lane with every stride and, after logging a mile in 1:36.98, the rider finally started to move, perhaps to keep his mount’s mind on business. And despite switching to her left lead in deep stretch, Farrell continued on willingly to win, stopping the clock in 1:43.67.

Farrell is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Rebridled Dreams and is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and WinStar Farm stallion Carpe Diem and fellow Grade 1 winner J B’s Thunder. She picked up $240,000 for her latest graded stakes score, bringing her bankroll to $601,357 and her career line now reads 7-5-0-1. She also won the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (GII) and Silverbulletday Stakes earlier this year, as well as last year’s Golden Rod Stakes (GII) at Churchill Downs.

“She’s done everything we’ve asked her to do,” Catalano said.

Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.

She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.

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