Trainer Kenny McPeek shipped Envoutante for the Remington Park Oaks straight from two Grade 1 stakes attempts, the Ashland at Keeneland and the Alabama at Saratoga. She showed her class by easily winning the Grade 3, $100,000 Remington Park Oaks on Sunday.
The win was McPeek’s second in this race and the victory ended a two-year streak by trainer Steve Asmussen, who won the Oaks with Lady Apple and She’s a Julie, the past two years, respectively. McPeek also won this race with Montana Native in 2013. Remington Park’s leading rider and top rider the past two years, David Cabrera, was aboard Envoutante for the win.
“I watched some tape of her when she was at Gulfstream Park and she looked uncomfortable there, so my main thing was just to get her comfortable,” Cabrera said. “So I put her on the outside and she felt comfortable. When we went to the lead in the stretch she pricked her ears and I said, ‘Uh-oh,’ so I got her attention with the left stick and that’s when she just drew away.”
Envoutante and Cabrera settled into a mid-pack fifth position in the early going of the 1-1/16th miles race, then moved to the lead at the top of the stretch before cruising home. She chased early fractions of :23.84 seconds for the first quarter-mile, :47.78 for the half-mile, 1:11.89 for three-quarters of a mile and 1:36.91 after a mile. By that time Envoutante was in charge.
Envoutante, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Uncle Mo, out of the Bluegrass Cat mare Enchante, ran the exact same winning time to the hundredths of a second that She’s a Julie did two years ago in the oaks – 1:43.36.
Envoutante earned $60,000 for owner Walking L Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm of The Woodlands, Texas, and now has three wins from eight starts for $215,748 in her bankroll. Paige Anne (7-1) ran second followed by third-place runner Seattle Slang (6-1) another three-quarters of a length back. The remaining order of finish in the field of eight was Trixie Racer, Jeweled Princess, Curls and Bows, Darlene Strong and Hotasapistol.
Envoutante had been competitive with the tougher company, running fourth at Saratoga in the Alabama Stakes on Aug. 15 to one of the top fillies in the country, Swiss Skydiver, who is expected to go in the Preakness in October. Prior to that in the Ashland at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., she ran third to Speech, another high-brow filly. So it was no surprise to the bettors that the class drop to a Grade 3 stakes would improve the chances of Envoutante greatly. She was sent off at the heave betting choice at 1-5 odds and paid $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10 to win, place and show.
Remington Park racing continues into a new month with a Thursday-Saturday schedule on Oct 1-3. The first race nightly is at 7:07pm-Central.
Photo: Remington Park Press