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Marietta plants the Oaks at 'Meadows


Darley Stable's homebred Marietta earned her first stakes victory in the $200,000 Iowa Oaks GIII at Prairie Meadows on Friday night, crossing the wire a length-and-three-quarters in front of eight opponents under jockey Rafael Bejarano. Going off as the 3-1 second choice, the 3-year-old bay settled off the pace and moved four wide down the backstretch. She gained the lead at the three-sixteenths pole and her triumph was never threatened. The favorite High Again finished third.

The Machiavellian daughter was making her second start since breaking her maiden at Keeneland on April 22nd. Her previous start came in the GIII Selene Stakes at Woodbine on May 20th where she broke slowly and raced far back early, making a wide move and gaining ground to finish third.

"She ran well in Canada, but had a rough trip," said trainer Eoin Harty of that race. "She had been training well since and ran accordingly today." Harty also credited the filly's ten-day turn out at Darley's Jonabell Farm immediately following the Woodbine race, saying that the relaxation in the blue grass pastures helped her mentally and physically.

Assistant trainer Oliver Costello, who supervised Marietta's preparations and trip to Prairie Meadows said, "She kept on her feed and looked great going in. There was only one filly to beat and she did that easily. Rafael rode her well and did what we told him to do and kept her on the outside."

Costello was joined on race day by assistant Brian Ange who said, "She ran big. It was a fun night and it was great for our homebred to get some black type on her."

Darley's Kentucky homebred is out of the Deputy Minister mare Minister Wife.

"I can't wait to get to Saratoga and see where we go from here," said Costello.

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