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Jul 11, 2014

Fortune Pearl rallies to capture Delaware Oaks


Stanton, DE ( - Fortune Pearl, the 5-2 second choice, rallied through the stretch Saturday to win the $300,000 Delaware Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at Delaware Park.

Trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Trevor McCarthy, Fortune Pearl broke from the outside post in the eight-horse field for the 1 1/16-mile stakes. Joint Return, winner of the track's Our Mims Stakes, was the 8-5 favorite.

Fortune Pearl was racing seventh just ahead of the favorite as Honey's Ryan, a 20-1 longshot, set the pace. Joint Return moved into fourth as the field entered the far turn with Fortune Pearl gaining ground as well.

At the top of the stretch, Aibhilin had taken over the lead with Fortune Pearl second on the outside and Joint Return third.

Fortune Pearl gained the lead inside the furlong pole and ran to a two-length victory over Joint Return. Aibhilin was third followed by Lady Paradime, Image of Anna, Pixie Dust, Honey's Ryan and Vero Amore.

The time for the Delaware Oaks was 1:44.69 on a fast track.

"I was not really surprised she was far back early," noted Graham. "We really did not have a game plan coming into the Oaks. She is a very straight forward filly to ride, so I really left it up to Trevor (McCarthy)."

Owned by Zanim R. Meahjohn, Fortune Pearl gained $180,000 for her first career stakes victory and recorded her third victory in seven career starts. The filly has banked $272,547.

Last time out, Fortune Pearl was third in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico on May 16. The filly won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race by 2 1/4 lengths at Pimlico on May 2.

"We kept her at Delaware Park because we knew we were going to run in this race," Motion said. "We just felt like it was important for her to train over the track before this race."

Fortune Pearl returned $7.80, $3.60 and $3.00. Joint Return paid $3.20 and $2.60, and Aibhilin paid $5.20 to show.

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