Defining Purpose romps in $150K Year’s End (Coady Photography)
Oaklawn Park Press Release/Edited
HOT SPRINGS, Ark.— Favorite Defining Purpose capped a four-win day for trainer Kenny McPeek that included both stakes with her dominating victory in the $150,000 Year’s End Stakes as the 2-1 favorite. Several races earlier, McPeek won the $150,000 Renaissance Stakes with Frosted Departure and he also won two maiden special weights on the 10-race card dedicated to 2-year-old races.
Defining Purpose was eager to run early as she tracked Unifying through fractions of :23 35 and :47 4/5 for the first half mile from fourth while pulling strongly against jockey David Cabrera. The winner moved to the outside and came four wide entering the stretching before drawing clear to win easily by 5 ¼ lengths in a final time of 1:39 1/5 for one mile over a fast track. Take Charge Brandi rallied from last to finish third.
“It looked like they were going to go pretty hard with it, so I decided to set off of it (pace). It looked like I was going to have to force it a little bit going into the first turn, so I sat back and got around in the clear. I had all I wanted at the top of the stretch,” Cabrerra said.
Defining Purpose, a 2-year-old Cross Traffic filly, was winning for the second time in four career starts and has now earned $157,088 for owners Magdalena Racing, Colette Marie Vanmatre and James Ball. She returned $6, $3.60 and $2.80.
“She only should improve off this and it didn’t look like it taxed her too much, either. I’m sure we’ll come back in the next (stake) for the 3-year-old fillies ($200,000 Martha Washington Jan. 28 at Oaklawn). It’s always great to win these kind,” said McPeek.
“It’s not the first time I’ve won I’ve done it (two stakes victories on the same day at the same track). I think I’ve done it at Turfway and I’ve done it at Churchill. I might have done it at Keeneland, I don’t know. Same thing (fourth victory on the card). Really nice horses to handle and you take one race at a time.”
Live racing resumes Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. Highlighting the nine-race New Year’s Day card is the Birthday Bash celebration featuring complimentary treats in honor of the Thoroughbreds turning one year older and the $250,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for newly turned 3-year-olds with Kentucky Derby aspirations.