Klassy Bridgette Determined Winner of $150K Dixie Belle

February 11, 2023

Klassy Bridgette classy in capturing the Dixie Belle (Coady Photography)

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.— Klassy Bridgette became the first three-time winner at the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting after edging Pate by a neck in Saturday’s $150,000 Dixie Belle Stakes before an estimated on-track crowd of 23,000.

Klassy Bridgette, who was ridden by Francisco Arrieta, was making her stakes debut in the 6-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies after winning a maiden special weight and entry-level allowance earlier in the meeting. She provided 2015 Oaklawn training champion Chris Hartman with his second victory on the card.

Klassy Bridgette was fifth early as Southern California invader Stone Silent took the six-horse field through a :22.29 opening quarter and a :46.46 half-mile. Klassy Bridgette moved toward the leaders three-wide turning for home and matched strides with Pate (outside) through the final furlong before narrowly prevailing. The winning time over a muddy, sealed surface was 1:11.63. Pate finished 2 ¾ lengths ahead of 6-5 favorite Key of Life, who was followed, in order, by Always Angels, Stone Silent and Twirled. Baytown Lovely and Parody were late scratches.

Klassy Bridgette, who is from the first crop of Grade 1 winner Army Mule, improved her record to 3-2-0 from five career starts. She has earned $262,350 for co-owners JD Thoroughbreds LLC (Jackie Slawson), Joe K. Davis and Larry Romero. Klassy Bridgette paid $7.40, $3.80 and $2.40 as the 5-2 third choice.

Live racing resumes Sunday, with first post 12:30 p.m. (Central).

Stakes Quotes:

Winning jockey Francisco Arrieta: “Good trip. They went pretty quick up front. I sat behind the 3 (Key of Life). I saw he (Flavien Prat) had a lot of horse. I said, ‘A hole will open for me.’ I decided to go around and got a spot. I had a horse outside of me, but I hadn’t asked my filly yet. When I asked her in the stretch, she just started going. She’s got a pretty big heart. She’s very classy.”

Winning trainer Chris Hartman: “Today, I think she got a hell of a ride from Francisco and the race ended up playing right into our hands, which I was a little concerned about. But she got an excellent ride and it ended up being a great trip. That’s the question – whether we’ll stretch her out. I’ve been wanting to stretch her out, but she’s been doing so well sprinting. I don’t know. We’re going to have to ask that question. We’re going to have to answer it someday, right?”

@jonathanstettin is there a any better at writing thoroghbred articles that are ” relevant” to the horseplayer and fan alike ? I think not.

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