Malibu Moon's dynamic 3-year-old filly Farrell turned in another stellar performance in Saturday's $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), winning by 3 1/4-lengths for her fourth straight win, with three of them coming in Grade 2 events.
After winning last month's Rachel Alexandra S. (G2) in front-running style, jockey Channing Hill changed tactics slightly in the Oaks after Daria's Angel and Vexatious both bid for the early lead, forcing Farrell three-wide on the first turn.
The dark bay filly settled into a smooth stride on the backstretch and after six furlongs in 1:12.09, Farrell reeled in the leaders with no urging at all from Hill. Under a hand ride in the stretch as well, she easily pulled away to finish the 1 1/16-miles in 1:43.67.
“Wayne (trainer Catalano) and the barn have done a great job with a really good filly,” Hill said. “She’s terrific and just keeps getting better and better. She settled extremely well today. I didn’t ask her until we left the eighth pole, and I still had a ton of horse.”
“We feel very good [heading to the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on May 5],” Catalano added. “She’s doing everything we’ve asked her to do, and she’s coming around and she’s maturing. The way she’s settling down, she’s really learning.”
A Coffeepot Stables homebred, Farrell is 5-0-1 in seven starts. Prior to the Rachel Alexandra, she won the $150,000 Silverbulletday S. at Fair Grounds and the Golden Rod S. (G2) at Churchill Downs. She has earned $601,357.
Farrell is Malibu Moon's leading earner of 2017 and is one of eight stakes horses this year for the Spendthrift stallion, who ranks sixth on this year's General Sire List.